Movie Review : Backyard Ashes


Way back in November 2013, I  was one of the first (if I recall correctly) people to interview the movie’s Director Mark Grentell. You can read that interview here.

So it was lucky that I stumbled across a screening of the movie in Newcastle as part of the annual Young at Heart Seniors Film Festival. YAY for mailing lists!

This is the tale of a group of Aussie battler friends who take on the Poms at a game of backyard cricket. The Pommies arent exactly whingeing but they are very snobby and do need to be knocked down a peg or two. Dougie Waters ….. can you see what they are doing here 😉 ….. lives next door to his best mate and after his mate is retrenched and has to move away, his English boss Lords moves in.

Nobody is happy about this situation.

And after a tragic accident with the boss’s cat, a game of backyard cricket is called to settle the score.

Ohhhh its’on…..

Filmed entirely in the city of Wagga Wagga and with the backing, both financial and spiritual, of the local community, Backyard Ashes is a triumph in so many ways.

It has a decent script with some hilariously witty scenes. The character names are only the start. Just a tip ….. you dont need to be a cricket tragic to be in on the name jokes but it does help.

These are true blue fair dinkum Aussies just trying to live their lives, enjoying their family, friends and BBQ’s. Lots of weekend BBQ’s. And along with a few beers and a BBQ comes the inevitable game of cricket. The rules are fair and iron clad….. just like they are in every cricket loving/playing family in the country. To alter a single rule …… its simply not done.

Once the Pommies become involved, the stakes are high. The integrity and honour of an entire nation rests on the shoulders of these backyard warriors……or so the local media would have us believe.

The acting, much like the actors, ranges from highly professional and experienced to shiny and new but this only enhances the experience. The jokes and gags come thick and fast so we are so caught up laughing or cringing (depending on how much of your own family you see up there on the big screen) that nothing else really matters.

This movie is a triumph of heart, dedication and spirit. It is funny and sweet and so very, very Australian. It is a shame it has not garnered a wider release but……well that’s the way it goes sometimes.

If you don’t catch it at a travelling festival like I did, you can now download it from i-tunes. And I do believe that it will be available on DVD from Wednesday April 2, 2014.

Love Flick xx


Director :   Mark Grentell

Starring :  , , -Smith, Andrews S Gilbert, Stephen Holt, Waseem Khan, Daniel Krige, Lex Marinos, Rebecca Massey, Genelle Mullins, Arkaan Shah, Shingo Usami, Felix Williamson, John Wood

Running Time :  90 minutes

Release Date :  currently available for download on i-tunes

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