Low on self-esteem and high on dreams, Muriel Heslop is the heavily-flawed bumpkin you can't help rooting for in this quirky Australian tale. The film is superb in humanizing the white trash stereotype, but certain supporting roles are a tad overboard. The humor comes oozing from the rest of the cast's performances. Bill Hunter is especially vibrant. Toni Collette gained 40lbs to play Muriel and her dedication to the character is key. Even in her most profoundly pathetic moments we see a damaged young woman on the brink of maturity. Never allowing a lull in the story, writer/director P.J. Hogan packs the film with dramatic highs and lows. Owing to Muriel's expertly rendered character arc, we are left with a supremely satisfying and uplifting film.
4 Porpoise Spits out of 5