Australia / 99 minutes / color / Intandem, FFC Australia, Cascade, Take Partnership, Baker Street, Kennedy Mellor, Film Victoria, Palace Dir & Scr: Ann Turner Pr: David Parker, Tatiana Kennedy Cine: Martin McGrath Cast: Susan Sarandon, Sam Neill, Emily Blunt, Bud Tingwell, William McInnes, Georgie Parker, Terry Norris, Joanna Hunt-Prokhovnik, Lauren Mikkor, Heather Mitchell, Alethea McGrath, Eleanor Caspar, Emerald Tanner.
Sophie Hartley (Sarandon) balances life as a highly acclaimed children’s-book illustrator with being mother to ten-year-old Ruby (Mikkor) and seven-year-old Elly (Hunt-Prokhovnik)—not to mention wife to architect Craig Singleton (Neill).
Her editor, Rina (Mitchell), has put her under a tight deadline for her new book, and it’s to the stress of this and the recent death of her beloved mum—and to lack of sleep—that Sophie initially attributes a few odd little moments around the house: Did she forget to unplug the electric iron, or did she forget unplugging it? Was it really the cat who spilled ink all over the first illustration Sophie completed for the new book? If you watch movies like this a lot, you know the kind of incidents I mean.
Susan Sarandon as Sophie.
Sam Neill as Craig.
The illustration was of an owl. Sophie is obsessed with owls, and her home is full of representations of them. She has a recurring nightmare of an owl seizing her baby, the baby she does not have in waking life.
Just to add to her stress, she becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair with the sexy new IT person he employs at his firm, Mara Toufiey (Blunt). She’s right to be suspicious of Mara, but not quite for the reason she thinks . . .
Emily Blunt as Mara.
Irresistible is a thoroughly enjoyable psychological thriller that has enough twists in it to satisfy fans of movies like Gone Girl (2014) and The Girl on the Train (2016) while yet staying far more within the bounds of plausibility than either of those. Among several striking moments is Sophie’s opening the top of a large owl effigy to discover within it a nest of wasps that swarm out and attack her. Towards the end there’s one whopping great plot twist that I vaguely saw coming, but it’s followed by another, even better one that I must certainly didn’t. The latter hinges on a child’s promise: “You can share anything of mine.”
Alethea McGrath as Maggie.
Bud Tingwell as Sam.
Among the remaining cast are two stalwarts of the Australian screen, both now alas no longer with us: Alethea McGrath as Sophie’s neighbor Maggie, a frail elderly woman so dotty that she habitually calls Sophie “Debbie,” and Bud Tingwell, who does a great job as Sophie’s father Sam, not coping too well with the loss of the wife he loved for so long.