“The Rooster crows loud at daybreak, announcing an exciting new filmmaking talent.” (ScreenHub)
Mark Leonard Winter, one of Australia’s most exciting young actors, has previously done fine work in South Australian films, including One-Eyed Girl (2013) and Escape from Pretoria (2020). His feature directing debut is a startlingly good exploration of friendship between two damaged men. Dan is a small-town cop carrying a load of guilt over a childhood friend. He strikes up a difficult friendship with a hermit similarly hiding from his past, deep in the bush. The remarkable achievement here is in the way that the film can hold tragedy and comedy so closely together. It is very much an actor’s film. Hugo Weaving gives one of the finest performances of his storied career here, as a wounded soul who alternately longs for and rejects human closeness. Something to crow about.
“Winter, no doubt influenced by his work in front of the camera, is generous to his cast … Weaving is the film’s sledgehammer, smashing the quietude to bits…watching him experiment and push the drama into more dynamic directions provides the film’s key appeal.” (The Guardian)