From the opening set of scenes that show Matthew Goode, as Chef Tom at the hospital, in a car crash, and receiving a phone call it is very clear to viewers that he is going off of the rails and struggling with his drinking. In fact the one thing that is clear is that all he does is drink and sleep. This is really too bad for his son Oscar played by Jack Heanly because father of the year is not an accolade that it seems he is going to be up for.
It is hard to discuss much more of the plot of Burning Man without giving away the plot and the many twists that make it worth seeing, but suffice it to say that the film is definitely worth seeing. Jonathan Teplitzky is the director of the movie and he is at his best if you can believe it.
This is easily his most personal cinema attempt since Getting Square and Better Than Sex if you can believe that it can get more emotional. Plus, he offers Goode a great leading role which is an opportunity that has been a long time coming given the fact that he has had many supporting roles.
Goode does an excellent job of keeping a blank look on his face and in his eyes and therefore when his façade finally breaks down at the end of the film the effect is even more awe inspiring. Heanly is also wonderful and charming and he is a seven year old that you want to just reach out and hug. Of course, they are surrounded by some great Australian actresses as well which makes the overall effect of the movie even better as the females play very well off of the stoic and charming boys.
The stellar list of actresses in the movie includes Kate Beahan, Kerry Fox, Bojana Novakovic, Rachel Griffiths, Essie Davis, and Marta Dusseldorp. Beahan in particular really steals the show during some of the most touching and hilarious drunk scenes that you will ever see.
Even the smaller roles in the film are great with Gia Carides playing an excellent turn as a real estate agent, and Elizabeth Blackmore and Thasneem Roc as a memorable pair of nurses. One more performance worth looking out for is Anthony Hayes in the role of a long lost friend.
Garry Philips offers some great cinematography that is really enhanced by the editing that was completed by Martin Connor. The score created by Lisa Gerrard is also an expert way to help pave the emotional terrain of the film proving once again that she should have received the Academy award for Gladiator instead of Hans Zimmer because she has a knack at turning scores into something wonderful.
The script is also stellar which is of course the main reason that the movie is so good because the non-linear lines really help move it along and by the end of the movie you will be glad that you chose to see it.