Spotswood: Anthony Howard, efficiency savings, slot car racing and a very young Russell Crowe

3 January 2011 , , ,

Spotswood staring Anthony Hopkins - DVD coverStaring Anthony Howard as an efficiency expert brought into a well-meaning but bumbling moccasin factory, Spotswood is an amiable early-90s Australian comedy. It won a clutch of film festival awards but never really broke the film markets outside Australian, though the presence of a very young Russell Crowe alongside Howard has no doubt helped it to continue to be available on DVD.

The comedy is affable and the serious messages about what efficiency really means (putting people out of their jobs) and how both managers and workers have responsibility to each other are neither trivialised not stuffed down the audience’s throat over-earnestly.

But most importantly, it has the best slot car racing scenes on the big screen – including a tunnel crash at the crucial moment in the State championships that how the cinema audience spontaneously break into cheers when I first saw the film in the cinema.

Add in some sub-plots about teenage awkwardness, office politics and a failing marriage and it’s a pleasant way to pass 94 minutes.

You can now also, as I have just done, enjoy it on DVD.

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