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A passionate performance by Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, About a Boy) propels this surprising Australian drama about a young geologist whose company assigns her to babysit a rigid young Japanese businessman (Gotaro Tsunashima) during his visit down under. The first half involves some dully familiar cross-cultural comedy, as the two grate on each other's nerves. But the descending action veers into unexpected emotional territory, deftly handled by screenwriter Alison Tilson. Cinematographer Ian Baker makes impressive use of the red desert landscape. Sue Brooks directed. R, 99 min.

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