Paper Giants review – Part One

Was it everything you hoped for it to be?

For me, that’s a resounding YES. The 70s footage, the lavish clothing (wow, Leona Edmiston!), typewriters and telephones … just visually stunning.

In terms of the storyline it’s easy to see how difficult it was for both Kerry Packer and Ita Buttrose to move from the very conservative and archaic Frank Packer. Kerry is desperate to remove himself from his father’s domineering shadow, not quite as terrifying as Sir Frank but still quite so! His final diatribe, delivered in the last few minutes of Part One left me reeling. Rob Carlton I’m sure was the only choice to play Packer, and quite simply I forgot he was Rob Carlton. The resemblance is shocking.

Speaking to the Sunday Mail this week, Carlton said this of the late Packer…

“He had presence and power, but I think what people loved was he had this amazing sense of self and he would not take a backward step.”

And he’s certainly brought this personality back to our screens.

Rob Carlton plays Kerry Packer in "Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo"

As for Asher Keddie? Lady, please take a bow! What can I say? She is Ita. She is the elegant, young and upwardly mobile magazine editor to a tee. In particular the opening scene, where Buttrose interviews the young Leslie Carpenter for a secretarial job – her pure effiency was just icy.

Asher Keddie in "Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo"

But what I really loved was seeing bits of this. In my opinion, the best political campaign ever. Such lightness and positivity. Can we bring this attitude back to Australian politics, please?

Let’s see what tomorrow brings! Part Two screens tomorrow at 8:30pm on ABC1.


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