A Month of Sundays
(M) Anthony LaPaglia, Julia Blake, Justine Clarke
The mundane life has taken over Frank Mollard’s (Anthony LaPaglia) existence. Recently divorced, he is merely walking through the motions of his career as a real estate agent and it has caused friends and family to be worried that he is losing touch with everything of importance. One night, Frank receives a call from his mother, which taps into his emotional needs and helps him to reconnect with her … but then reality sets in. His mother died one year earlier.
This one event will lead Frank on a journey to rediscover his life again and to begin to see the richness of the world around him. His eyes are opened to the things that have been slipping through his hands and, hopefully, it will give him enough time to save them. This phone call becomes a quirky twist of fate that has the potential to turn his life into something of substance and purpose.
A Month of Sundays breaks the rules for Australian film. When cinematic drama is put into the hands of Australian directors, there is a tendency toward despair and the macabre. Like the subtle twist in his film, Matthew Saville (Felony) has decided to deliver a story that begins going down the general path of this country’s style of storytelling but provides a wonderful journey of hope.
It is rare that an actor is perfectly placed to portray a role, but it was like Frank Mollard was written for Anthony LaPaglia. This independent film is the right vehicle for LaPaglia to transition back to the big screen from his time in television. Since Without a Trace, he seems to be struggling to find his feet back in the realm of cinema. A Month of Sundays gives him the role that gets him back to his historical roots and helps him find his thespian feet again. Not since Lantana has he seemed so comfortable on screen.
Saville manages to surround his central character with an amazing cast that complement the story without stealing each scene. Veterans of Australian television, John Clarke and Justine Clarke, are splendid in their roles as the caring friend and ex-wife, but it is Julia Blake (Wolverine) that brings this story to life. Her portrayal as the caring and generous mother figure that breathes life back into Frank’s life manages to do the same for the film. The writing provides Blake with a measured richness that makes her the balancing component to the desperation of LaPaglia’s lead character as well as the purpose for his steps toward salvation.
The disappointing aspect to watching a film like A Month of Sundays is that it may not make it beyond the shores of Australia. Being filmed in Adelaide and being laid across the intricacies of this country’s real estate market may not make it accessible to audiences outside of this continent, but that would be unfortunate. This is a film that is worth searching for at the local independent theatre or when it eventually comes to Netflix or on DVD. Matthew Saville has produced a film that is small jewel that will be treasured by all who discover it. This is one of the most endearing and refreshing films of the year.
What are some of the bigger questions to consider from this film?
A Month of Sundays asks the question of how can we find redemption and salvation for our lives. You can wait for a small twist of fate, but the true answer is found in the person of Jesus. Salvation can be found today for all who are searching for it.
- What is sacrificial love? (John 15:13, Ephesians 5:25)
- Is life mysterious? (Colossians 2:1-3, Matthew 13:11-13)
- Does God care about my life? (Matthew 6: 8, 26)
Russell Matthews works for City Bible Forum Sydney is a film blogger and regular contributor to Insights
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