<i>Fran</i> is a tough, lucid and emotionally-charged award-winning film, carried by the virtuoso performance of Noni Hazelhurst. Ms. Hazelhurst, awarded the 1982 Australian Film Institute’s Best Actress Award for <i>Monkey Grip</i>, won again in 1985 for her role as Fran, with awards also going to Annie Byron (Best Supporting Actress) and Glenda Hamby (Best Screenplay).
As Fran, Hazelhurst plays an attractive and friendly 30-year-old, struggling to come to grips with marriage and motherhood in a depressing Australian suburb. Abandoned by her husband upon discovery of her infidelities, she is left with three small children. An affair temporarily eases her loneliness, but leaves the Welfare Department with custody of her children. Her life still spirals downward. Finally, her anger is unleashed upon her neighbor and best friend, Marge (Annie Byron), and she is left at film’s end alone and devastated. However, <i>Fran</i> is never without sympathy. The astonishingly well-realized performance by Noni Hazelhurst mixes charm and irresponsibility, love and devastation, pain and humor. <i>Fran</i> is a decidedly dark film, but genuine in its depth and force.
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