Clubland (Introducing the Dwights)

Director: Cherie Nowlan
Screenwriters: Keith Thompson

Institute History

  • 2007 Sundance Film Festival


Every once in a while, a love story that defies your expectations comes along. Clubland director Cherie Nowlan and screenwriter Keith Thompson have created just that in this engagingly original romance that underscores the truism that there are never just two people in a family love story.

Brenda Blethyn stars as Jean Dwight, on the downslope of a career as a bawdy and risqué comedienne. Her sons, Tim and his intellectually disabled brother Mark, inhabit a household where chaos is the norm. Their father, a one-hit wonder 25 years earlier, works as a security guard and hopes for another break. And so, when Tim meets and falls for gorgeous Jill, his mum fears that this interloper will "break up" the family, and what was never exactly a stable home environment becomes a combat zone where the two women lock horns for his affections.

This Australian production is remarkably full of life, brimming with the forceful personalities of a cast of characters who never stop surprising. Artfully directed and driven by powerhouse performances from Blethyn and her equally potent antagonist Emma Booth, Clubland is a rare blend of dramatic and comic sensibility and skill. That Tim feels compelled to declare his darkest secret to Jill in an intimate moment—his parents are entertainers—says it all.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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