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SFF 2017: Review – That’s Not Me

Sometimes all you need is a good lead and a good idea.

Wannabee actress Polly Cuthbert (Alice Foulcher) has to deal with the newfound on-screen success of her identical twin sister (also, Alice Foulcher). Constantly being mistaken for her mirror image, she soon takes a few radical steps to advance her own career.

At once a gently satirical take on the industry that makes all films possible and an aspirational tale of someone determined to make it in a ruthless environment, not since Extras has anything so honed in on the deeply resonant desire to persevere that both plagues and propels so many performers.

Foulcher is absolutely superb throughout – grounding even the most uncomfortable, wince-worthy encounters with customers at her local cinema or anyone she bumps into on the street who won’t believe she’s not her twin sister. Rowan Davie gets one of the best scenes as a self-touting Actor/Director just as the film hits its parodic-stride, though a later sequence more akin to a stream-of-consciousness between his thespian and Polly threatens to overwhelm the softly-satirical edge already so well established.

A sudden jaunt to Los Angeles places us with Polly’s more successful Aussie friend (Isabel Lucas), who despite positively nailing one scene in a studio lobby doesn’t contend with much of the drier, darker humour which That’s Not Me toys with throughout but never ultimately makes the centre-piece of its frequently funny screenplay.

The ending above all hinting at a greatly subversive and intriguing storyline that never eventuates, too featuring one of the film’s most discomforting moments, the LA additions, each of the film’s pivotal moments and the conclusion itself very much resonate as stories that could easily have fleshed themselves out over a lengthier run-time to do even greater justice to so many of the film’s hilarious machinations.

Thoroughly entertaining regardless for Foulcher’s magnetic delivery and its novel premise, That’s Not Me shows just how far a solid script and a well-placed lead can take a film.

That’s Not Me had its Australian premiere and is screening at the Sydney Film Festival

On Falkenscreen

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