French actress Lea Drucker is back and nuder than ever in Last Summer, a new sexually charged and potentially uncomfortable film from French director Catherine Breillat. The plot follows Lea Drucker on a family vacation where she begins an affair with her husband’s son from another marriage. Well, that’s going to complicate your family vacation! It’s easy to see why the son would fall for the lovely Lea when she shows her breasts during a sex scene. The director has been accused of being too voyeuristic and sexual in her films and she’s doing the same with this feature!
Every December, Australian commercial networks bust out some Australian movies mainly because they need to make up a certain points-based quota of Australian ‘drama’ productions on their channels and the easiest way is to dump a bunch of little seen movies at 9:30 or later and usually on the weekend. This year only the Channel 9 suite of channels indulged in such a practice mainly because the only drama they aired was the abysmal mini-series Warnie. The other commercial channels, 7 and 10, have in previous years also shown Australian (and New Zealand but that’s another point of contention) movies but I didn’t see any on their schedules. It’s a practice that’s been happening since at least the 1990s and may be even earlier. In some cases it’s the only way to ever see these movies because they never get a proper release.
The Land (2021)
This dour low budget drama is written by the two male leads who, with the director and another producer, did the bulk of the work on the movie, performing multiple roles. Jeremy (Steve Rodgers) and his wife Neets (Anne Lise Phillips) welcome Jeremy’s old friend Simon (Cameron Stewart) who has arrived back in Australia after spending 20 years in America attempting to be a filmmaker. Jeremy, Neets and their three kids seem to be happy and successful on the outside but Neets is depressed and finds it hard to get out of bed. Simon is going through a rough patch as his wife has left him and the filmmaking gig is not going to well. He asks Jeremy if they can go to ‘the land’, a property they co-owned in the country. Neets encourages them to go and when they do, she dumps the kids at her parents and mulls her life over. Jeremy and Simon bond on ‘the land’ by fixing a few things but Simon seems to have something on his mind and he hints at it until finally saying that he’s going to confess to police about a rape he and Jeremy committed when they were in college. Jeremy is stunned as this is going to affect his ‘perfect’ life but Simon has made up his mind. It all comes to a head after a party at a neighbour’s house. Treacle-paced drama that explores toxic masculinity expressed between Jeremy and Simon who struggle to come to grips with what they have done and how it’ll affect everything in their lives, particularly Jeremy who doesn’t want to lose what he has, although by the end of the movie he might not have a choice. He also doesn’t see that his wife is in pain and she goes about trying to work out what to do next. It’s tough going throughout but it’s not a bad little movie.
There’s some brief full frontal nudity from Anne Lise Phillips as she strips off to get in the pool. Anne Lise did a fair bit of nudity in a number of productions in the late 90s, early 00s but it’s been a while since she’s had a nude scene.