Darryl's modest abode is built on a toxic landfill. Never mind that the house is adjacent to humming high-power lines and is in the landing path of the nearby airport. It's home to this up-till-now happy-go-lucky family and they'll do whatever it takes to keep it that way. The Kerrigans are not the most sophisticated lot, but they've taken family pride and affection to a cheerily comic new level. To them, ordinary life itself is magical. Darryl couldn't be more thrilled that his daughter Trace (Sophie Lee) has completed some higher education; that is, she received a beauty school degree. He beams every time his son Steve (Anthony Simcoe) finds a new bargain in the local paper; waxes poetic about his pet greyhounds; revels in his wife's (Anne Tenney) pound cake and seasonings; thinks his plastic trim and faux chimney are delightful wonders; and even believes his bank robber son Wayne (Wayne Hope) made an innocent mistake. And, as far as Darryl's concerned he's got the Australian family's dream: a pool room, a barbie and an over-sized television antennae. The Kerrigan's innocent-eyed, loving, chin-up view of the world is at once farcical and inspiring. Then a letter arrives in the mail announcing the Kerrigan family house is being 'compulsorily acquired' for a major airport expansion. But Darryl refuses to be budged. Joining the ranks of Australian rebels, unassuming urban warrior Darryl Kerrigan decides to take on the powers that be . . . and takes his case all the way to the Supreme Court. He may not be much, but Darryl Kerrigan has a soaring sense of optimism that will propel him to a genuine hero as he leads his family, his lawyer mate (Tiriel Mora) and his equally eccentric neighbors towards saving a place that might be quirky, low-class and run-down but is jubilantly theirs.
Shot with a Super 16mm camera in just 11 days, this tender-hearted comedy about a 'little guy's' victory made an over-sized impact in Australia, becoming the highest grossing Australian film of 1997. The film went on to capture audiences at the Sundance Film Festival. A stream of affectionately drawn characters combines with a delightful sense of humor and an old-fashioned spirit of neighborly charm to produce an uplifting and uproarious suburban parable. [Pressetext]
German Switzerland: 23. July 1999
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