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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 07.23.13] Australia thriller

Writer/director Ivan Sen has been bringing Australian Aboriginal stories to the screen for years with little fanfare but if the trailer for his new feature Mystery Road is any indication, it looks like the director has found his stride.

Mystery Road stars Aaron Pedersen as Jay Swan, an indigenous detective who returns to his hometown in the Outback to investigate the brutal murder of a teenage Aboriginal girl, an investigation that brings to the surface the long simmering tension between the townsfolk, no small amount of which likely stems from troubled race relations.

The trailer suggests a bit of a modern Western, a mystery that unfolds in the rubble and sand of the Outback, featuring one lawman against an entire town. It's gorgeous, offering some beautiful shots of the locale, and tense, with a feeling that in the next scene the entire thing is just going to explode. The trailer is, in itself, an exercise of simmering tension.

Along with Pedersen, Mystery Road also stars Hugo Weaving, Jack Thompson and "True Blood" star Ryan Kwanten.

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