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52 Tuesdays is never heavy-handed and features more humour than you’d expect.
Before 52 Tuesdays, Adelaide filmmaking collective Closer Productions were best known for its acclaimed documentaries Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure and Life in Movement. The latter was co-directed by Sophie Hyde, who helms Closer’s first feature-length drama, 52 Tuesdays, which won awards at the Sundance and Berlin film festivals, and is an extraordinary achievement from Hyde, co-writer Matthew Cormack (with Hyde) and the mostly amateur cast. Much has been made of Tuesdays’ documentary-like production structure, which involved shooting on every Tuesday for a year. While this may seem like a gimmick, it adds incredible realism to a story that is fundamentally about change. Billie (a spellbinding Tilda Cobham-Hervey)is a 16-year-old who discovers her mother (Del Herbert-Jane) is to become a man, James. Billie is sent to live with her dad (Beau Travis Williams) while James undergoes this transformation, but Billie and James make a deal to meet every Tuesday from 4pm to 10pm. While this is happening, Billie is in the midst of a sexual awakening herself, experimenting with two new friends. While James’ transformation is what initially grabs you, his story takes a back seat to Billie’s growth from mildly irritating brat to complex adult. Superbly handled by Hyde, 52 Tuesdays is never heavy-handed and features more humour than you’d expect. It’s a brave film and local triumph that deserves all accolades since premiering at the Adelaide Film Festival last year. 52 Tuesdays is in cinemas now Rated MA