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All About E (2015)

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All About E Movie Info:.

A beautiful sexy DJ is forced to run when she stumbles on a stash of cash. Can she keep the money, conquer her demons, AND get the girl?.
Director: Louise Wadley.
Writer: Louise Wadley.
Stars: Mandahla Rose, Brett Rogers, Julia Billington.

Movie Review:.

All About E, directed by Louise Wadley, is a refreshingly good Australian film, showing at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival. It tells the story of E (Mandahla Rose), who has given up playing classical clarinet to pursue her career as a successful DJ. She works at a nightclub on Oxford Street, but feels that her performances are not really true to herself. One night, she gets wasted and ends up accidentally taking home half a million dollars she finds in a cab. She decides to keep the money and run away with her best friend, Matt (Brett Rogers). Incidentally, the money happens to be owned by her controlling methamphetamine-dealing boss, Johnny (Simon Bolton), He soon realises that she has the money and starts chasing her across Australia. Woven into this plot are idyllic flashbacks of E’s relationship with her ex-girlfriend, Trish (Julia Billington). E still pines for Trish, and the second half of the film is about her attempt to win Trish back, whilst also hiding from Johnny by idling through rural New South Wales.

The film opens at the club, with E having sex in a toilet stall, causing her to be late to her DJ set. Regardless, the crowd goes wild. It’s a clunky opening, and the introduction of her best friend, Matt and her boss, Johnny is somewhat awkward and clichéd. After this, however, the film gets much better. The storyline is simple, but works and the plot is enough to sustain the film. For me, the film’s real drawcard was Mandahla Rose, who is blessed with bucketloads of charisma, such that even her sulking and sneering is sexy. She plays both gruff sass and pained vulnerability impressively well, which lends her character a well-roundedness that is lacking from the supporting characters.

All About E also offers an insight into rural, migrant and queer communities. E exists in all three of these communities, and finds their values conflicting. She was raised in Newcastle by her conservative parents who emigrated from Lebanon. They love her dearly, but they don’t approve of her choice to be a DJ and her mother accuses her of shaming their family. E is also too scared to tell her parents that she’s a lesbian, and when they come to visit, forces Trish to pack her things and move out for three days. (In many ways, the storyline echoes Desiree Akhavan’s 2014 film Appropriate Behaviour.) I appreciated this depiction on the cultural struggles of second-generation Australians – something we have not seen since Looking for Alibrandi (2000). I also appreciated Matt’s character, and the nuanced insights it yields into Sydney’s gay scene: “Here I am, a fat Irish redhead, looking for love in a meat market full of people all as superficial as you.” His friendship with E is sweet, but his character is not well-developed, though Rogers acts it very well.


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