Suburban dramas are a staple genre of Australian national cinema and My Year Without Sex is the latest film to examine the everyday lives of a relatively typical Australian family. This time set in the slowly-being-gentrified western suburbs of Melbourne, My Year Without Sex is neither the best nor the worst example of this type of film, but like the socio-economic status of the family it portrays, it sits somewhere in the middle. The film’s title, its opening ten minutes, which emphasise society’s increasingly sexualization, and giving each segment of the film titles such as “Wet Dream”, “Foreplay”, and “Faking It” suggest that this is a film with a strong sexual theme. However, it’s not and the title refers to the fact that the film covers a period of one year during which wife and mother of two Natalie survives a near fatal brain aneurism and must avoid sex, among other things, to prevent a reoccurrence. My Year Without Sex is basically an observational comedy/drama about coping with everyday life from the point of view of an ordinary family.
Contribution to the 2005 World Poll
Although I confess that for a part of 2005 I gave up on going to the cinema and shut myself in with Alfred Hitchcock DVDs, this year did see the release of some great films and was probably the best year for Australian cinema since 1994.
My top ten films that received a first-run theatrical release in Melbourne, Australia, in 2005 (in preferred order) are:
1. The Proposition (John Hillcoat, 2005)
2. Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki, 2004)
3. Birth (Jonathan Glazer, 2004)
4. Broken Flowers (Jim Jarmusch, 2005)
5. OldBoy (Park Chan-wook, 2003)
6. Downfall (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004)
7. Ong-bak (Prachya Pinkaew, 2003)
8. Sideways (Alexander Payne, 2004)
9. Closer (Mike Nichols, 2004)
10. Look Both Ways (Sarah Watt, 2005)