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Cactus

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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(Jul 03, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Colo, an attractive young woman vacationing in Australia, must face the depths of fear and loss when a bad car accident leaves her virtually sightless and threatens to blind her completely. Devastated and unable to cope, Colo retreats from the world and friends. A chance meeting with Robert, a man blind from birth, opens a new door in Colo's life as he teaches her the skills she will need to survive. As her feelings for him awaken, she begins to listening to her heart and discovers a new way of "seeing." When Colo's husband arrives from overseas, she will ultimately make a decision that balances the secure life she knew with the frightening but liberating world she has just begun to discover.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Isabelle Huppert, Robert Menzies, Norman Kaye, Monica Maughan, Banula Marika
  • Directors: Paul Cox
  • Writers: Norman Kaye, Paul Cox, Bob Ellis, Morris Lurie
  • Producers: Paul Cox, Jane Ballantyne, Tony Llewellyn-Jones
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 3, 2001
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005KH2C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,091 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cactus" on IMDb

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Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Shelley on September 10, 2001
Format: DVD
Dutch/Australian director Paul Cox' film is so reverential to the blind that it mutes the intended romance. Filmed in the lush bushland of remote Victoria, Isabelle Huppert plays a Frenchwoman on holiday who may lose her sight after a car accident. The titular plant is represented by Robert Menzies, a blind man who lives in the small community, growing prize cacti which reach to staggeringly Freudian heights. Cox succeeds in highlighting the beauty of the land, where birds sing like bells, laugh and make noises like whiplash, adding music by Giovanni Pergolese on the soundtrack, with angelic sounding vocalists, and his signature super 8 stock for memory. The screenplay written by Cox, Bob Ellis and Norman Kaye, gives Huppert the dilemma of either having an operation to remove one eye to save the other, or leave the worse affected eye and lose all sight. However she procrastinates in spite of the eye specialist's warnings that she needs to make a decision quickly, to such a point that after watching her applying her makeup multiple times, we laugh when she ask Menzies if he thinks she is "a shallow person". In spite of Menzies cliched claim that blindness is a gift, the narrative clearly makes the stronger case for sight, particularly since Menzies himself is presented as such a prickly tortured creature ie cactus. Cox makes the aged locals amusingly eccentric, with their cactus clubs and sitting around the piano parties, and shows Huppert as an alien when she walks in a busy Melbourne street. In spite of the context, Cox doesn't release Huppert the way other directors have, since she only really makes an impression when she speaks in French to her husband who flies over to visit, and with the enigmatic to-camera looks she gives.
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Format: DVD
I love this film. From the fascinating sound textures of the Australian landscape to the wonderful use of home movies to illustrate Colo's enigmatic past, to the quiet but passionate love story, this is a film to treasure. Why it is not on DVD is beyond me. Highly recommended
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