Rain (2001)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Coming-of-Age, Family Drama  |   Release Date - Apr 26, 2002 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - New Zealand  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Rain doesn't have a particularly exciting or original plot, it suffers from a contrived and overly melodramatic ending, and it's too portentous for its own good (due in part to heavy-handed symbolism and overuse of slow motion shots). Nonetheless, director Christine Jeffs successfully conveys the languid mood of a hazy, booze-drenched summer vacation, thanks to the gorgeous cinematography by John Toon, a melancholy score by Neil Finn (from the rock bands Split Enz and Crowded House) and Edmund McWilliams, and the judicious inclusion of Dusty Springfield's "Spooky" on the soundtrack. Furthermore, Alicia Fulford-Wierzbicki gives a convincing, natural performance as a sullen adolescent who is exploring her sexuality while disdaining her alcoholic mother, and Aaron Murphy is particularly appealing as her younger brother. The film fares better at attention to small details than at making big statements, but its visual style and performances make it interesting despite its flaws.