Dirt Music (2021)

Written for RAF News July 2021

Trapped in a loveless relationship, Georgie takes a midnight dip in the ocean, only to find a mysterious, hunky man poaching lobsters from her fella’s business.

Kelly Macdonald stars as the Australian fishwife, living on the coast, apparently under the watchful eye of her boyfriend Jim Buckrich (David Wenham) and his lobster empire. Warning this sexy intruder to go quietly in the night, it’s not long before he steals her away too.

Theirs is a strange affair, motivated by a shared desire to escape, Georgie from her present situation but for broody lobster thief and ex-musician Lu Fox (Garett Hedlund) it is his tragic past. But for all of their common goals, there is no accounting for chemistry and so there interactions feel strained and confusing. What is clear is that lobster boss Buckrich is not the forgiving type and so aims to catch up to them both as they head Perthward.

Lu Fox is presented as rugged and mysterious, down to his dog with no name. His quietness alludes to a dark past that will be eked out in flashbacks over the course of its full runtime of 105 minutes. It is some feat that the romance feels rushed and forced, whilst the film itself drags along and outstays its welcome.

We’re over half way into the film before we hear any of the music promised in the title, a Mumford and Sons style country-singing trio comprised of Lu, his brother, and sister-in-law. What became of the band will all be revealed, but far too slowly, to the point that you might lose interest.

Even the eventual revelation and original songs can’t stop Dirt Music from being as dull as ditchwater.

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