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Movie Review: Rams (2020) *Spoiler Free*

Rams (2020) One Sheet
The trailer for the Australian movie, Rams, billed the film as a comedy, and it is, but in more tragic and heartfelt way than I expected. I don't know why because rewatching the trailer now doesn't imply it's laugh out loud hilarious. Regardless, it's not a negative by any means.

Colin (Sam Neil) and Les (Michael Caton) are estranged brothers living on neighboring sheep farms in rural Western Australia. They haven't spoken to each other in years but regularly compete in the local annual sheep breeders competition.

Unfortunately a rare but lethal sheep virus hits the region with the government implementing extreme measures to eradicate the outbreak. However Colin has a plan to save his flock that'll put him at odds with almost everyone.

Rams is a reimagining of the Icelandic movie Rams (2015) with the major difference being the location (just based on the trailer for that movie, I have not seen the actual film). Though I would suggest, maybe not watching the Icelandic film's trailer as it does contain a potential major spoiler.

All the main cast give really strong performances. I was surprised to see Miranda Richardson (playing the local vet and English expatriate, Kat). She's been in many dramatic productions since, but her stint as Queen Elizabeth I on the TV series Black Adder II is seared into my brain as the definitive (and most accurate) version of that monarch. It's hard not to contrast her playing a completely believable, country vet, (or almost anything she's done since) with that role.

Possibly the only character I struggled with was De Vries (Leon Ford), the department official tasked with coordinating the virus eradication. Leon Ford's portrayal of the character was as good as any hard faced government official charged with carrying out a task, no matter what. I just struggled with how tone deaf the character seemed to be to these farmer's losing their entire flocks.

It does help to get a few laughs but I found it hard to imagine anyone would be making light of how much more time these farmers would have for other things right from the get go without even the slightest hint of empathy.

That aside, I did enjoy the film. It comes across as a very Australian movie despite being based upon a story from Iceland. Director, Jeremy Sims, is really doing some great work, with Rams being a good companion movie to his previous outing Last Cab to Darwin (also staring Michael Caton).

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