Linoleum by Colin West [8/10]

A quirky film redolent, in my mind, of American Beauty, Linoleum barely caused a ripple in Australia. It is well worth seeking out and renting/buying. A very personal project of writer/director Colin West, it revolves around a middle-aged host of a failing science show, who pursues his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut by commencing to build a spaceship in his garage, amidst an escalating series of weird events. Jim Gaffingham is perfect in the leading role, all hesitancy but obdurate perseverance, and the actors portraying his baffled family, their own flailing lives swirling around his strange reality, are equally impressive. Such a film comes with a mandatory finale twist and the one in Linoleum is simultaneously apposite and ludicrous. In the end, it is not worth dissecting Linoleum; just treasure its shining mood of sunlit hope and space dreams.

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