Based on an autobiographical novel written in 1935 by Norman Lindsey, Mirren plays a wildly curious young woman named Cora, living with her grandmother on an isolated island in the Great Barrier Reef. Her secluded island becomes inhabited by a disenchanted middle-aged pop artist, played by James Mason, escaping from his crowd of beatnik hangers-on, as well as his own tortured soul. It was directed by Michael Powell (of The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus), so visually, you know it's going to be a beautiful, tropically vibrant feast of color.
It's also nice to watch a warm, bright and Summery film as the air begins to chill, and we bid g'day to the crispness of Fall.
Mirren's Cora tries everything in her power to woo the jaded painter, but he fears corrupting her innocence and simple way of life. After he shows her what it is to be an artist, she yearns deeply to be his creative muse, as well as gain experience, and a sense of sophistication. It's quite hokey, but also impossible to ignore, as Mirren, giving an absolutely fearless performance at only age 22, is mesmerizing, especially when blissfully running around in the buff, under the Australian sun.