Palm Beach

M 97 mins

About the film

Release Date: Aug 8, 2019
Director: Rachel Ward
Actors: Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, Richard E. Grant, Jacqueline Mackenzie, Heather Mitchell, Greta Scacchi
Charlotte (GRETA SCACCHI) and Frank (BRYAN BROWN) can’t quite believe they’ve made it to over thirty years of married life. In their twenties they had dived into an affair that was so lustful and volatile they made every other possibility pale into insignificance. At thirty they married. The qualities that had made them passionate lovers, were the same qualities that made their marriage challenging.

Despite the anxieties, Frank and Charlotte are relentlessly, diligently conscious of the beauty and the grace and the ordinary pleasures of their life in Palm Beach. They have two fantastic children, their son Dan (CHARLIE VICKERS) and daughter Ella (MATILDA BROWN). They decide to throw a three-day house party to celebrate Frank’s birthday – in their fabulous Palm Beach house – and they want their closest friends and family there, the people who have been on life’s roller coaster alongside them.

Frank and his closest and oldest friends Leo (SAM NEILL) and Billy (RICHARD E. GRANT) all met in their twenties, when they formed a dishevelled, promising, talented and eventually unsuccessful small-time rock group, The Pacific Sideburns. The group’s grand plans dissipated through a combination of disorganisation, laziness, dissoluteness and mischance. They followed different paths, travelled, escaped their histories in one way or another, but they held onto a kind of love for one another that was not just about a shared time and place, but a soulful connection.

The Pacific Sideburns lead singer was Roxy, a rock chick if ever there was one. Blessed with a gift of a voice but not blessed in choosing the right bloke. A romance produced Holly (CLAIRE VAN DER BOOM) and a car accident took Roxy’s life from her. But Holly has grown up with three great uncles, a fabulous voice and an invite to the birthday weekend.

It’s a weekend of great, generous meals, boating trips, surfing like the old days, party-games, walks and talks. But over the course of the weekend, life’s realities begin to hit home, the fault-lines of friendship widen, the cracks deepen and seismic shifts take place.

Billy has never achieved the musical greatness he presumed for himself and now creates jingles for ‘Incontinence Pads’. His beautiful actress wife Eva (HEATHER MITCHELL) is being offered grandma roles and could do with some support from Billy.

Leo has had a health scare and Bridget (JACQUELINE MCKENZIE), Leo’s second wife, is feeling his distance and worries that Leo is preparing to leave her and her daughter Caitlin (FRANCES BERRY).

Holly has brought a new beau, Doug (AARON JEFFERY), a sheep farmer – but is he Mr Right?

Over the course of the weekend, secrets begin to emerge and a potentially catastrophic accident propels the friends to confrontation. Anxiety, guilt and loss could be a force for diversion – and as the weekend draws to a close, they hover close to a brutal ending of a thirty-year love affair between them all.

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