Fran (1985)

Noni Hazlehurst, Annie Byron, Alan Fletcher, Narelle Simpson,
A single mother, Fran (Noni Hazlehurst) is selflessly devoted to her children. But something is lacking in her life, and that something is the love of a man her own age. Her efforts to juggle a love life with her home life are lar...
  • 6.2 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Glenda Hambly, Director:
  • David Rapsey, Producer:
8 / 10

Fran-tastic

These were great, these movies, back in the day. Now we don't see these kind of Ozzie greats, anymore, films of such frank realism and Fran is basically one of these that stares you straight in the face, and it's quite impossible to look away. I really like this movie a lot, and again we're reminded of just what a powerfully great actress, Noni is. She plays a mother, whose had a really bad trot through life, and has been through the wars. As a kid she was fostered out, and in a cruel irony, she had fostered one of her own kids out, her older kid daughter. She manages 3 kids, her real piece of s..t hubby is in prison. Her current, abusive ass...e boyfriend, Ray, and father figure to her kids, who she hardly sees, is away, mining. Her solace and relief is in her best friend, next door, Marge (Byron) a wise survivor, and former wife of Ray's, so it seems, which for her, has put a damper of critical cynicism of all men. Fran is a mess, a mother, of irresponsibility, the bottle, and abandonment. She does night pub prowls, a sex magnet to the naked male eye, looking for a new man, and sights her next one (a familiar Neighbors face) a relief, but one of misfortune later, you'll find out. This is a very entertaining drama, with some sad/verge tearing moments. It starts off with flavor in it's opening, involving a stalking creep. The film is really well made, and has great, real acting, Noni again, is great as always, but it's the confronting, sheer raw realism of the film that bites you on the a..s. Fran has another Oz 80'S which warrants, and deserves your attention, especially fans of Oz pics. Colorfully entertaining drama, that you can't turn away from.

3 / 10

soap opera drama

This director really is like a low rent ken Loach/mike Leigh. Unfortunately, FRAN, has none of the cinematic prowess or complex politics that make the English masters rise above the kitchen sink.

The film is nothing more than TELEVISION drama. Turgid script, stolid story arc, overwrought drama. The characters speak their truth in a way that is unrealistic and terribly daytime television.

The writer aims so hard to invest complex stakes in the story that the characters are forced (like puppets) to react dramatically to the events. Because of this reliance on the motivating stakes of the story, the characters have no internal world. And certainly the cinematic world created is nothing short of ordinary.

Unfortunate that the creators of this stinker are now at the helm of deciding the future of Australian cinema. Perhaps therein lies the problem with the sort of scripts and directors being encouraged by Australian funding bodies.