Movie Review: Wish You Were Here

By Stephen Rebello

<p>Tension, suspicion, betrayals and lies percolate under the surface in <i>Wish You Were Here. </i><br></p>

Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith MPAA Rating: R Studio: Amblin Entertainment Stars:Felicity Price, Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer

Tension, suspicion, betrayals and lies percolate under the surface in Wish You Were Here. Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price play a married Australian couple enjoying, thanks to boozing, dancing, great food and ecstasy, a more than slightly hallucinatory Southeast Asia vacation with Price’s younger sister, played by Teresa Palmer, and her new boyfriend, a handsome businessman played by Antony Starr.  Three come home, one goes missing and a mystery unfolds. 

The subtle, twisted screenplay, co-written by Felicity Price and the actor Kieran Darcy-Smith, marks Darcy-Smith’s confident, promising directing debut and it focuses on the unraveling of family relations as Price’s character slowly learns what really went down in Cambodia – despite her husband and sister’s initial cover-up about what they really know.  It’s a taught, well-edited and grabby little puzzle of a film. Its characters are complex, not even close to being entirely likeable or admirable, and the performances feel lived-in.  In particular, Edgerton’s work here as a troubled, flawed shipbuilder is as strong and intriguing as his work in Baz Luhrmann’s take on The Great Gatsby was one-note and dispiriting.  Wish You Were Here is intelligent, grownup, absorbing and highly impressive.


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