The trailer for “Ladies in Black was remarkably successful -at least around the people I know who saw it. It seemed that everyone, and I mean everyone who’d seen the trailer also wanted to see the film. Of course all were reasonably educated anda Admittedly all lived in Sydney Australia and were (almost ) able to remember the ttime the film was set; Sydney in the 1950’s) Thrreby fitting a fairly accurately targeted demographic.
““was lucky enough to see the film at a preview screening. I paid for my own ticket. unfortunately that day I was severly sleep deprived since the night before I hadfallen out of bed and had to be lifted off the floor by Paramedics at 3am. While I suffered no physical damage worse than bruising “Ladies in Black” was such a mellow film with pleasant musical score that I found I could not stop myself dozing during the first half. I admit this in the interest of transparency. The second half is louder and maintainedits holdon my attention more effectively The conflicts between the characters are resolved neatly and with a maximum of socio-political fashionability and normal respectable romance blooms All in all “ladies in black leaves very little taste in the mouth, either good or bad, since it must be said, it is as bland as1950’s Sydney actually was. Almost exclusively white English- speaking proletarians deluding themselves that they were middle class, eating fried steak as often as possible and washing it down with beer, in a city with only one coffeeshop (re-created in the film) and no culture big enough to see with a magnifying glass. In other words,a place so remote almost rural, so set in it’s ways as to be almost a living death. I didn’t live through this period in Sydney, being born just after it ended, but my parents did, and being cultured Europeans, woulften tell me of European coffeehouses- bread that wasn’t white sliced paste and the wonders of the continent 14,000 miles to the North. “Ladies in Black brings this period to life, with what looks to me to be great accuracy; The coffe cups at Repins are printed with the name of the establishment undoubtedly accrately; I’m sure that if I’d ever been there the blast of nostalgia would have been almost too strong to cope with The entire culture of Sydney at the time is recreated
And, without too much effort it is possible to see how that culture morphed into this one and (of course) how the present day is preferable to “olden times I say “of course” because without doubt “Ladies in Black” is a “feel good” genre piece and serves as a rather loud object lesson in how life has improved over the last five-or six decades -for certain segments of society.since the late 1960’s the societal position of women and blacks has markedly improved; largely at the expenser of white males. In all cynicism it is hard to see how a film with the political backbone could fail to be at least respectably successful in today’s political climate; And qualitatively speaking , it is