Projections - Movie Reviews

The Dish The Dish

From Rob Sitch, director of the Aussie hit The Castle comes another agreeable yarn, The Dish, which chronicles the importance of Parkes, New South Wales in the telecast of the famous Apollo 11 (man on the moon) mission in July 1969.

Within sheep paddocks on the city's outskirts, there happens to be a kilo-ton, one hundred yard wide radio telescope, the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere, which can supplement images of the historic voyage.

Throughout the lustrous photography, intersected with old NASA and newsreel clips, The Dish generates its whimsical charms by keeping the scientific elements and suspense outside with some fun pokes at the denizens of the small town and their visitors upon the momentous occasion.

From the outset, the townsfolk are a buzz at being a part of this global event and friendly Mayor McIntyre (Roy Billing) is taken aback with the appearances of a genial US Ambassador (John McMartin) and Australia's own press-hungry Prime Minister (Bille Brown).  The Mayor's wife is Genevieve Mooy, but the fun set in motion in The Dish by her cotillions and dinners can't really do much to handle the townies' manners within a party atmosphere.

Sitch keeps things from becoming too languid, as the warm, bouncy mood is felt in the McIntyre's daughter Mrie (Lenka Kripac), a rebellious college sophomore, politically active but ignored, by adults but not by the neighborly army reservist Keith, a jittery Matthew Moore.

Marie isn't gleaming over Keith's infatuation and the edgy G.I. is working on the telescope project with the bold technician Mitch (Kevin Harrington) under the steady scientist, Sam Neill's Cliff Buxton.

While not surpassing the intimate humor of The Castle, The Dish by virtue of its production and ensemble work often is in sync with the comedy that satirically delights.

The odd foursome down under have much to handle at the climax as the dish is out of sync with the spacecraft and with the astronauts appearing to reach their destination early, it could mean that Australia's dish may be the sole means for the world to see man's first dusty steps on the moon.  But, the weather has become stormy, The Dish isn't that moonstruck with awe over the enormous situation, as it is positioned not to lose its gravitational pull of good humor, even with Warburton's Al Burnett glowering and technical difficulties threatening to give too much uplift to a walk on the moon.

The Dish

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