Sydney Film Festival – The Rover Reviews   Leave a comment

Here are few The Rover reviews from the Sydney Film Festival


Spotlight Report:

The two main characters juxtapose one another superbly. Whilst Pearce appears to be dead inside, Pattinson’s sweet naivety and loyalty is endearing. He has misplaced hope in a world where there is no place for such luxuries. He plays the role perfectly and flexes acting muscles that have previously lain dormant in the less challenging roles he is known for, capturing the stunning simplicity of his character.

Through Rey, the audience gets an insight into a child of the decay, that has known nothing more than the world he lives in now and yet still has hope and faith perfectly encapsulated by his stating ‘There’s no harm God wants to see me come to’. The audience yearns for the two to develop a friendship and bond, for Rey’s sweetness to break down the hardened exterior of Eric. But it’s to Michôd’s credit that this never transpires as Eric never sees Rey as anything more than a means to an end.

More after the jump

Matt’s Movies

The two man show of Pearce and Pattinson is outstanding. Pearce delivers one of his strongest turns in his portrayal of a man wounded, scarred and hardened by an uncompromising land, while also deploying a stare that can burn a hole through a brick wall.

Yet it’s Pattinson who fascinates with his turn as Rey, taking pains to shed that teen heartthrob image with a grubby and dirty look, complete with thick southern accent. Portraying a man of limited mental capacity, Pattinson is almost childlike in a performance sprinkled with jitters, hesitations and ramblings, yet never resulting in caricature, a wholly sympathetic character in an unsympathetic world.

It is indeed proving to be an interesting post-Twilight career for Pattinson, who is wisely choosing projects directed by filmmakers of integrity (two films by David Cronenberg proceeded this, and films by Werner Herzog and Anton Corbijn will come after).

Director’s Cut Movies

Robert Pattinson steals the show with his groundbreaking performance, Guy Pearce now trailing too far behind. Robert Pattinson’s not too bad an actor, it’s just the material that’s bringing his credibility down such as the Twilight Saga. The Rover will literally change everybody’s perspective on him. Pattinson gives one of the best male performances of the year and it’s certainly his best performance to date. While Guy Pearce has done better, eg. Memento, The Rover still manages to slot in as one of his finest films. The chemistry between the two leads is both tension filled and exciting, allowing the time to slip by as we’re engrossed in this fictional look at the relentless situations occurring on screen.

Sunday Morning Herald

If there is less spontaneity, there is more to think about, which can have its attractions. Pattinson, almost unrecognisable as a dim-witted boy from the American south, renovates his screen image with this performance, but the film offers meagre emotional rewards, given that the two leading men barely speak.


Pattinson is nothing short of unbelievable. Forget anything that you’ve ever seen him in before, this is a towering, career defining performance. Like Leo DiCaprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Ryan Gosling’s Half Nelson or Al Pacino’s Dog Day Afternoon – this is the one that sees the young actor nurtured to his full potential. Every single stammering unenunciated southern turn of phrase disguises the erudite Brit made famous by being the prettiest, sparkliest vampire ever. Watching his impressionable nature absorb the bleak philosophy of our man with no name (Pearce) creates a tragic Stockholm syndrome, which also affects his companion.


The Rover creates an atmosphere of hopelessness, punctuated by sharp, sudden violence. The film follows Guy Pearce’s unnamed character as he seeks to get back something that was taken from him. For most of his journey he’s stuck with Rey, played by Robert Pattinson in astounding form. Their relationship is an awkward one, which quickly switches between death threats and saving each others lives, more than once.

I loved this film. The cinematography is stunning, the sound design sets the perfect mood and the acting is brilliant. The breathtaking shots of deserts, mountains and towns make the setting as important a character as any of the actors.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.