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Here, the frosty Nordics have become the sun-parched Aussie Grimurson brothers, sensible Colin (Sam Neill) and his bitter, older and far more drunken sibling Les (Michael Caton). When their parents died 40 years ago, they ignored a woolly will and simply cut the family farm in half. We never get to the bottom of the fallout, it seems the Grimursons aren’t big talkers. Their mutual loathing is mainly expressed through grunts and steely stares across a barbed wire fence.
Their relationship sours further when Colin reveals to the authorities that Les’s prized ram has succumbed to a highly infectious disease.
When health officials order a culling of their flocks, a plague descends on both their houses.
Both men have dedicated their long, lonely lives to maintaining the bloodline of the Kalgan, a hardy breed established by their father to flourish in Mount Barker’s unique microclimate.
Can the brothers stop butting horns and find common ground?
There are some funny lines and a hint of romance between Colin and Miranda Richardson’s “Pommy vet”. But whenever it feels like we are heading towards feel-good territory, the plot takes an unexpected turn.
By the end, gentle comedy has given way to a touching human drama about identity, landscape and bloodlines.
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