Sunday, March 09, 2014

Picnic At Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock is a 1975 Peter Weir film based on a book supposedly based on a true story -but not actually based on a true story. It's fascinating, a mystery without a solution with an eerie feel and a definite sexual subtext. I had seen this one several times (The Boys here don't like it at all), but this time I watched it with The Daughter. She liked it, and we enjoyed talking about possible solutions. What really happened?


Moria calls it "an incredible and haunting film" and "a film that resonates with a sense of enigma that continues to work the mind long after many of its individual details have faded in memory" and says, "The combination of haunting unsolved mystery and broodingly sinister symbolism creates an atmosphere that is spellbinding." DVD Talk calls it "unnervingly mysterious" and "unique" and "a disturbing but unforgettable viewing experience" and closes their review with this:
Beyond setting up the mystery of Hanging Rock, Weir's film also works as a finely observed, and at times heartbreaking, period drama. Uniformly excellent acting and characterization expertly communicate the inevitable sense of sadness and tragedy that pervades this film on a number of different levels. Top-notch cinematography, art direction and costume design work serve to complete the compelling picture found here.
Empire Online gives it 5 out of 5 stars and calls it "A fascinating film that is by turns fascinating and mysterious." It's on Roger Ebert's list of Great Movies, and he calls it "a film of haunting mystery and buried sexual hysteria." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 91%.


  1. This really is an eerie film, I remember well seeing it years ago. The sexual subtext was lost on me, but I remember thinking how anything can happen at any time, no matter how safe you feel. Like you get on an airplane, and - vanish, like that Malaysian plane they are looking for now.

    1. one of the elements my daughter & i focused on during this viewing was that miranda seemed to know something was going to happen. did she have a general premonition? or did she have something planned?

      the malaysian plane's disappearance is strange. i fear the worst, but i'll be glad to learn what happened to it. i'm doubting the theory that terrorists were involved.