Does the DVD cover for "Five Moments of Infidelity," the first film from writer/director Kate Gorman, strike you as a tad pretentious?
So goes the film.
Operating within the "Crash" school of filmmaking in which several storylines appear quite diverse yet inevitably intersect, Gorman keeps the goings on natural enough that the storylines never feel completely manufactured even under the most unlikely of circumstances.
As you can probably guess, Gorman's film primarily centers on the stories of five couples from diverse backgrounds...a gay couple, an older and seemingly burned out couple, an upwardly mobile couple trying to rediscover the spark and, well, you get the idea.
The Australian-made film does occasionally, okay often, dip into melodrama with a bit of a soap opera feeling to it. Of course, this could equally be due to the fact that Gorman called in favors from several of her Aussie actor friends, most of whom have a background in Aussie television or soaps.
Despite the melodramatic leanings, Gorman's script is surprisingly gentle and devoid of unnecessary dramatics. It seems a foregone conclusion that building a film upon a foundation of infidelity carries with it inherent melodrama. After all, we human beings are at our most self-righteous when we have either been betrayed or when we are following our own lustful desires.
Gorman avoids, however, overtly judging her characters and instead has a surprising amount of understanding for even the most obviously guilty ones. It's a refreshing approach that seems to imply a basic truth "I can't really move past this until I stop hating you."
Among the ensemble cast, particularly strong performances come from Sally McDonald as Narelle and Jason Chong ("Little Fish") as Danny.
The film's production values are consistent with similar indie flicks, though the film's musical score often felt overwhelming and jarring given the accompanying scenes.
In her directing debut, one might say it appears that Gorman tackled a bit too much for a first-time director. This said, "Five Moments of Infidelity" gives solid evidence of Gorman's solid ability to direct human relationships and a keen ear for dialogue.
"Five Moments of Infidelity" may have a bit of difficulty finding an American audience, given that this type of film is rather common on late night cable and, even more noteworthy, the film's only American is a bit of a wanker. Still, Kate Gorman is likely a name you're going to be hearing in the future and "Five Moments of Infidelity" is a film worth watching to see from where she began.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic