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Release Date: 2000-03-17 (NY)

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Rating: R

Duration: 1hr 41min

Synopsis...

Four squabbling siblings return home to their small Australian town to care for their ailing mother. There's Josie, the control freak; Vera, the eternally forlorn; and Nadia, the chaotic bully who takes after their father, the stoic Vic. And, at the other end of the planet is the rough and tumble Bo, the lone son whose reckless lifestyle has alienated him from Vic their entire lives. Patsy, the family matriarch, is joyous and beleaguered to have her family descend upon her during this difficult time. Her outlook on life thus far has been matter of fact without much room for analysis or sentiment. But, she's about to discover that a houseful of family can undo a lifetime of established patterns. One by one, the kids arrive home in their own personal hurricanes, and Patsy must referee the commotion. Further draining her strength is the management of Vic's temper -- no small task, especially when he won't allow Bo to set foot in the house. Between the childish bickering, recreational drug use and crash diets, each sibling gets their moment with the fading Patsy. Bo passes the hours reading aloud from Patsy's beloved Jackie O. biography, Vera administers her medication and cries about being single, Josie nags her own children and brags about her life in "the States" and Nadia comforts Patsy bedside while cavorting secretly with her ex-husband in the off hours. As Patsy and her children switch roles, things become alternately painful, goofy, nostalgic and bizarre. Whether it's a forbidden frolic at the beach or an indulgent menu well outside doctor's orders, the faithful caretaker has become the naughty patient. And with her children's support, Patsy finds the courage to make her own decisions and do more living in her last days than she has her entire life. Through it all, the forced family togetherness brings out the best and worst in each of them: Family secrets are revealed, ugly truths surface and unknown strengths are discovered. And slowly, as her strength weakens and her humor grows, Patsy relates to her children as adults -- and friends -- for the first time.

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