This “modern Australian classic” is winking at me from the bookcase all the while I write this. Have you read Cloudstreet? You really must. To read a book and have it grab you by the shoulders and pull you in? That’s what Cloudstreet‘s like. To feel the menace of the Nedlands monster. To suffer the indignity of having an alcoholic parent far beyond help. To know that a house has a violent history. To scrimp and save to make a decent living.  To feel your fingers crunch under a heavy machine and pull away from your hand. To drown. To live only inside your head.

That is Cloudstreet.

I think Tim Winton is more than an author, but I can’t put a label on it.  He’s more omnipresent than other writers but seamlessly so.  I think Flaubert must have had Winton in mind when he said this…

“The artist must be in his work as God is in creation, invisible and all-powerful; one must sense him everywhere but never see him”

Did you know he formed a soundtrack to go with Dirt Music, while you’re actually reading it? The multi-talent that is Tim Winton is completely stupefying.

SO let’s get to the film. I actually am counting down until its premiere (why, yes, it’s on May 22nd on Showcase)!

For someone to try and adapt Cloudstreet must have been an absolute puzzle. It’s gone from novel to stage to screen. The genres weave between drama, romance, fantasy and war. In the book they blur but it’s not confusing. Film-wise, I’m sure Matthew Saville has handled it beautifully, as he’s clearly across all genres in his portfolio of work already (The Secret Life Of Us, Tangle, The Slap, Noise to name but a few).

It is laid out into three parts over three weeks every Sunday night.

The cast is an absolute delight and homage to the original masterpiece. I think they will certainly do it justice and I can’t wait for the finished product to light up the tv screen. Stephen Curry is such an interesting choice for Sam Pickles! His cheekiness will make the character of Sam just right, I’m sure. And they couldn’t have picked a better choice than Geoff Morrell as well-meaning but flawed and confused Lester Lamb. He was just fantastic in Rake and is also great in Small Time Gangster at the moment. But my pick is Emma Booth, who will surely bring the light in as Rose Pickles. She IS Rose, absolutely. And I know she has the absolute talent to deliver an excellent performance to such a multi-faceted character. Playing Kim Hollingsworth in Underbelly: The Golden Mile last year seriously brought her back into the spotlight in a big way, I think, and her star will only continue to rise with this performance.

Stephen Curry as Sam Pickles and Geoff Morrell as Lester Lamb in Cloudstreet (from The Courier-Mail)

Most of all, I’ll be interested to see how the character of Fish Lamb pans out. The production of the mystery and  fantasy of the world he lives in will be beautiful to watch.

Fish Lamb (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) has a chat to the talking pig in Cloudstreet (From PerthNow)

Will you be watching the mini-series of Cloudstreet?

Also, are you watching Boardwalk Empire? Do you like it?


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