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Look Both Ways named Australian Film of the Year by Australian Catholic Film Office

Monday 27 February 2006, by SIGNIS

The jury of the Australian Catholic Film Office has awarded its 2005 Film of the Year to Sarah Watts’ “Look Both Ways".

Director of the office and jury chair, Jesuit Priest, Fr Richard Leonard said, "The title of this somber film is instructive. It looks at both life and death, and many other issues in between -cancer, male suicide, pregnancy, grief and loss. It does this with a poignancy and quiet desperation rarely seen in Australian cinema."

Look Both Ways tells the story of Nick (William Mclnnes), a staff photographer on an Australian newspaper. An ordinary fifty-year-old bloke, his world starts to unravel when at lunchtime on Friday, his doctor informs him that he has testicular cancer, with secondaries in the lung and the liver. He needs more immediate treatment.

An unmarried loner, Nick returns to work and tells his boss, who is shaken by the news. Nick tells him he has one more job to do that afternoon, and so he goes out with his journalist mate Andy (Anthony Hays) to the death of a young man who has been run over by a train.

At the scene of the accident Nick meets Meryl (Justine Clark). She witnessed the accident on her way home from her father’s funeral. An artist, Meryl is in danger of losing her job unless she can finish the artwork on cards she does for a publishing company.

Andy is convinced the man’s death was not accidental, but a suicide. But why would the young man kill himself? Over the weekend, and in the midst of their pain, Nick and Meryl have a sexual encounter. Andy discovers his girlfriend is unexpectedly pregnant, and the train driver needs to meet a grieving widow.

"Although a more metaphysical appreciation of life and death is, sadly, lacking in the film, the jury said that the values of Look Both Ways made it the stand-out film of the year", Fr Leonard said.

"It is certainly a meditation on how we should love our neighbours as we love ourselves", he concluded.

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