Ladies in Black is based off of the novel Women in Black and is directed by Bruce Beresford and takes place in Sydney 1959 as the department store Goodes has hired some temp hands to deal with the Christmas/New Year sales period one of those is a young girl named Lisa (Angourie Rice) who befriends a European refugee named Magda (Julia Ormond) who also works at the department store, at the same time some of the other girls (Rachael Taylor and Alison McGirr) are going through their own problems and Rudi (Ryan Corr) wants to meet an Australian girlfriend.
Ladies in Black is a nice love letter to Sydney and to Australia of that time period somewhat, 59 was the 10th anniversary of Sir Robert Menzies’s time as Prime Minister and a lot of English and Europeans migrated to Australia to start a new life (one scene made me think of the 1984 film by Ms Sophia Turkiewicz Silver City which starred Steve Bisley) and the production design, costumes and cinematography do a nice job of recreating that period even if at times you can tell that archival footage has been used as it doesn’t quite match up with the photography of the sets.
At one point however and this is a brief aside Let it Snow plays on the soundtrack and all I could think of was Die Hard as to me that song and that movie are inseparable so I’ll move on.
Performance wise Ms Rice who really stole the show in the Nice Guys in 2016 continues to do good work and she really proves herself as a capable young actress and it was very nice to see after seeing her basically do a glorified cameo in Spider-Man: Homecoming last year, Ms Taylor really lights up the screen with her presence here and she reminded me a lot of that 50s starlet and she was good too, Julia Ormond and Noni Hazlehurst were pretty good while Shane Jacobson is his usual affable self and he gets a couple of good laughs.
All in all Ladies in Black is a nice movie with some good visuals and performances even if I wasn’t all that enthralled by it, 2 out of 5.