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The Rage in Placid Lake (2003)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 28 August 2003 (Australia)
2:03 | Trailer

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An exuberant, sharply satirical comedy about two parentally neglected teenagers who find the courage to believe in themselves



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jordan Brooking ... Young Placid
... Placid Lake
... Gemma Taylor
... Sylvia Lake
Lucas Fraccaro ... Bull (5 years old)
Cruise Moylan ... Angus (5 years old)
Zan Cross ... Lachie (5 years old)
Garry McDonald ... Doug Lake
Eleeza Hooker ... Young Gemma
Yesse Spence ... Jenny (as Jesse Spence)
Simone Cullinan ... Sharon
... Bozo
... Bull
... Lachie
Stephen James King ... Angus


Precocious, bohemian teenager Placid Lake, finishes high school and decides to do the one thing that will annoy his new age parents the most--go straight! With a few weeks spent reading a library of self-help manuals, Placid has it all sorted out--and he has the haircut and the cheap suit to prove it. Can Placid Lake retire his rage in the pursuit of beige; embrace conformity and leap on the fast track to corporate success. Will his 'brainiac' friend Gemma be able to talk him out of this economic rationalist madness? And will poor Doug and Sylvia survive the ignominy of having a son with a burgeoning future in insurance? Never underestimate the evil of banality. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Placid Lake isn't your usual rebel. He wants to work in insurance. See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 August 2003 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

A Grande Virada  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Placid Lake: I try to find the positives in my experiences
Young Placid: [dressed in a frilly dress for his first day of school, and about to be pushed onto the playground by his hippie mother] Mummy, I *can't*.
Sylvia Lake: Darling, just remember you're challenging their pre-conceived notions of sexuality.
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Featured in Getaway: Getaway to the Music (2007) See more »


Written by Ben Lee
Published by BMG Music Publishing Australian Pty Ltd
Performed by Ben Lee
Modular Recordings 2002
Licensed courtesy of EMI Music Australia
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User Reviews

'The Rage in Placid Lake' is a gem.
18 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

I can't believe I didn't hear about this film when it was released. I must have missed The Movie Show that particular week. I saw the DVD on the shelf of my local video shop, while it was in the New Releases section. I saw the cover, loved the word-play in the title, and, thinking it was American, I told myself I would get it out when it gets moved to the weekly section.

I saw it, in the weekly section, some time later, and I read the blurb on the back and thought, 'that sounds really interesting, I'll get it out someday'. Then last week, I picked it up again, and noticed the Australian Film Finance Corporation named on the back. I was in. I hired it, took it home, and loved every minute.

From the first scene, 'The Rage in Placid Lake' sets itself up to be taken only semi-seriously. The parents of Placid Lake, our hero, are, as his name would suggest, extreme New Agers. We first meet Placid at primary school, where his mother drops him off in a dress, admonishing him to challenge the other children's pre-conceived notions of sexuality. Between flashbacks to his childhood, the film follows Placid's transition from school to work, which is fraught with stresses. Having failed to achieve happiness following his parents' advice, Placid takes a new tack: he gets his hair cut like George W. Bush, buys a suit, and lands a job with an insurance company. All of which is most distressing to his best friend Gemma, and his parents, who go to great lengths to shake him out of this Capitalist madness.

Writer and Director Tony McNamara has worked primarily in theatre, and has also written for television, including Southern Star's magnificent 'The Secret Life of Us'. His background in the theatre, however, lends this film a very intimate and human touch. He had originally thought of this story as a play, but rightly judged it to be more suited to film, and made adjustments accordingly. The result is a film that stands out as something fresh, something that takes old ideas and stereotypes, and employs them to great effect.

While the characters in this film can be described as caricatures, Placid's journey into adulthood—his discovery of himself and of his relationships—resonates with such humanity that the suspension of disbelief is no effort. The pathos with which the characters are written boldly emphasises McNamara's assertion that we must be true to ourselves.

The most remarkable aspect of this film, however, remains the sad fact that so few people have seen it or even heard about it. It is an example of the magnificent films being produced in this country, and highlights the miserable plight of Australian filmmakers, overshadowed by the monstrous marketing ploys of their American counterparts. 'The Rage in Placid Lake' may not quite be as noteworthy in the history of Australian film as 'Jedda' or 'Mad Max' or 'Romper Stomper', but it makes a profound statement about humanity that sits somewhat uncomfortably in a world of Free Trade Agreements and 'Wars on Terror'. What's more, it makes that statement beautifully.

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