[ Torchlight Films NZ DVD / DVD ]
Release Date: Thursday 22 December 2016
M No Notes
The Great Maiden's Blush is a drama about two single first-time mothers from opposite sides of the track. The younger one, the working class, loner Bunny, is a taxi-driver and a girl-racer. She's serving a sentence for manslaughter for killing a man during an illicit street car race. When we meet her, she has been released from prison to hospital to deliver her baby, and she's heading back to prison after the birth. With no father or family on the scene, she has no option but to give him up for adoption, an apparently straightforward transaction except she falls in love with her baby. So she's doing her damnedest to repress her growing love and it's killing her.
But her roommate, Aila, an older single first-time mother, a failed classical pianist, a gardener and lover of old roses, whose own much wanted baby is about to undergo a major heart operation and may not survive the journey, takes Bunny under her wing, and shows her a way whereby she can keep her baby in her life, but only if she faces up to the father of the man she killed. But Aila has her own secrets as Bunny discovers - and both women are forced to confront their pasts, face the men in their lives, and admit to the truth of the paternity of their newborn babies.
The film takes the audience on a journey rich with contrasting cinematic imagery - of opera and drag-racing, domestic gardens and industrial wastelands - as the narrative weaves its way through past and present. It's a story of compassion and love and friendship, of overcoming adversity however heart-rending the journey, and above all, this is a story of the redemptive power of truth.
Rating: M Offensive language and adult themes
The Great Maiden's Blush was one of Graeme Tuckett's top ten movies of 2016:
"The Great Maiden's Blush is the third feature film from Wellington duo Andrea Bosshard and Shane Loader.
Their first, Taking The Wae Wae Express, was a wee gem, full of unexpected moments as it tracked a young man's path to reconciliation after a car crash. The second, Hook, Line and Sinker, put us in the middle of a family working their way through a health crisis. They were both modest and likeable films. In retrospect, they were also a training ground for Bosshard and Loader as they worked towards The Great Maiden's Blush. Because this film, small in scale though it may still be, is the work of a couple of mature filmmakers just dripping with intelligence, flair and vision.
The Great Maiden's Blush is a tale of two women. They come from different sides of the tracks, but sharing a ward after the births of their children, they forge an alliance. And from there, two very different stories unfold. Somehow The Great Maiden's Blush takes in illegal street racing, rose breeding (from which the film gets its name), love, sex and death. For a film that takes place over a couple of days and only involves a handful of disparate people, it sure has got some universal and weighty themes on its mind, as well as a few plot machinations that could have been lifted from one of the operas Bosshard and Loader also found the time to include.
But, it works. This is a sinuous, clever, ambitious, nuanced, layered and gorgeously assembled film.
Pay The Great Maiden's Blush the attention it deserves and you'll be rewarded with one of the most beautifully photographed, best sounding and best written films you'll see all year. Bravo."