Browse Updates

Spotswood

Release date: January 23, 1992
Directed by: Mark Joffe
Written by: Max Dann, Andrew Knight
Produced by: Richard Brennan, Timothy White
Running time: 95 minutes

Spotswood, Australia, in the 1960s. Erroll Wallace (Anthony Hopkins) tries to save a run-down moccasin factory that hasn’t made a profit for years. The boss, Mr Ball (Alwyn Kurts) has been selling off assets to keep his eccentric work force in employment. Mr Wallace enlists young employee Carey (Ben Mendelsohn) to help his research, who's lovesick over the boss’s daughter Cheryl (Rebecca Rigg). As Wallace’s marriage falls apart, he begins to question his recommendation to sack 60 percent of the workers.

Cast & Characters

Anthony Hopkins (Errol Wallace), Ben Mendelsohn (Carey), Alwyn Kurts (Mr. Ball), Bruno Lawrence (Robert), John Walton (Jerry Finn), Rebecca Rigg (Cheryl Ball), Toni Collette (Wendy Robinson), Russell Crowe (Kim Barry), Angela Punch McGregor (Caroline Wallace), Dan Wyllie (Frank Fletcher), John Flaus (Gordon), Gary Adams (Kevin), Jeff Truman (Ron)

Production Notes

“Spotswood” marks Toni Collette’s motion picture debut. Aged 16, she enrolled in a three-year course at Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Arts, and walked out 18 months to take the opportunity and work with award-winning director Mark Joffe, not to mention a lead actor named Anthony Hopkins, who was striving to do more comedy after wrapping “The Silence of the Lambs”. In a first public interview with The Movie Show during the filming of “Spotswood”, Collette found her character to be “a lovely person. She hasn’t had such good family life. Her father is an alcoholic. And she’s grown up with a boy named Carey, who she finds really attractive and is in love with him, and he just doesn’t realize he’s such an idiot. And she notices the beauty in everything”. Besides Collette and Ben Mendelsohn, who played the second lead character in the film, Carey, a wealth of young Australian actors was cast, including Rebecca Rigg and Russell Crowe.

At the Australian Film Institute Awards, “Spotswood” won trophies for Best Achievement in Production Design, Costume Design and Cinematography. It received nominations for Best Film, Best Actor in a Lead Role (Ben Mendelsohn), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Toni Collette), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Alwyn Kurts), Best Screenplay and Best Achievement in Editing. Director Mark Joffe reunited with his Ben Mendelsohn and Toni Collette five years later to rekindle their on-screen romance in “Cosi”.

Awards & Nominations

☆   AFI Award – Best Supporting Actress