Reviewer’s grade: A-
Screening at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art on Friday through Sunday, this Australian film is about a man living on the poverty line (Eric Bana), his wife (Franka Potente) and their son, Rai (Kodi Smit-McPhee), through whose eyes we interpret the action.
Rai is his mom’s darling, but a desire to provide for his well-being can’t keep her from running off to Melbourne when she feels the need for another man. Or several. She always comes home, but when we join the story, Romulus is on the verge of an emotional breakdown. His love of Rai and the good sense of his brother keep him from exploding, but just barely.
The film is not just a slice of Australian neorealism “ it’s a drive through hell with the windows up and the heater blasting. The miseries these characters endure suicide, abuse and mental collapse. The acting is nothing short of brilliant. “Romulus, My Father” is a stunning picture, but definitely not a fun night at the movies. R