Australia Day

It's Australia Day in Santa Barbara ...

And while the past few years have seen the likes of Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, Heath Ledger, and Guy Pierce all grace the Santa Barbara International Film Festival with their presence, this year's installment is rather under populated when it comes my fellow Australians. A little like this year's Academy Awards come to think of it. But, while it might not have been in person, there has been one surprise appearance by an Australian this year. And that came in the form of none other than Craig McLachlan through his role as 'Nick' in Fernando Lebrija's Amar A Morir.


The plumber turned soap star first rose to prominence through playing Kylie Minogue's, on-screen brother in Australia's iconic evening soap opera, Neighbours - a show that coincidently also gave rise to Guy Pierce. After a two-year stint on Neighbours, McLachlan then defected to rival evening soap, Home & Away. And while he might have severed his Neighbours ties, that didn't stop McLachlan from joining his former colleagues in their bid for musical stardom.


Craig McLachlan currently starring in Amar A Morir.

With his band Check 1-2 (McLachan figured the name would prove a shrewd publicity ploy given that every soundman at every gig in the world would be hollering their name in one language or another) McLachlan launched his assault on the charts. While he might not have followed in Minogue's multi-platinum footsteps, McLachlan did release three albums. Having also undertaken several stints onstage - including singing roles in the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Grease we now find McLachlan playing the quintessential Australian surfer in Amar A Morir.

But here's the thing. Craig McLachlan isn't half bad in this film. His colloquial pearls of wisdom and their laconic delivery perfectly mimic just about any Australian surf-seeking tearaway you're likely to encounter along the Michoac~A!n coastline. Sure his Australian presence is overstated but have you ever met a roaming Australian with surfboard tucked under their arm whose presence isn't overstated? McLachlan's character is an enthralling tangent in a film littered with twists and turns. And while some of these you can certainly see coming, McLachlan's appearance came as a most welcomed blindside.

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