Spotswood (1992) ( The Efficiency Expert ) ( Spots wood )
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Australia released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Also released as Spotswood, The Efficiency Expert stars Anthony Hopkins as Wallace, a cold-blooded management consultant, infamous for radically 'downsizing' every firm he comes in contact with. Wallace's latest assignment is to streamline a small, family-owned shoe factory in Australia. As he gets to know the eccentric (and endearingly inefficient) factory workers, Wallace undergoes a slow-but-sure 'humanizing' process. Eventually realizing that he can simultaneously cut costs and preserve the dignity of the workers, he finds a way to modernize the operation without a single firing. In traditional fashion, the main story shares screen time with a romantic subplot involving the factory-owner's son and a female employee. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Australian Film Institute, ...Spotswood (1992) ( The Efficiency Expert ) ( Spots wood )
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The comedy is affable and the serious messages about what efficiency really means (putting people out of their jobs) and how both managers and workers have responsibility to each other are neither trivialised not stuffed down the audience's throat over-earnestly.
But most importantly, it has the best slot car racing scenes on the big screen - including a tunnel crash at the crucial moment in the State championships that how the cinema audience spontaneously break into cheers when I first saw the film in the cinema.
Add in some sub-plots about teenage awkwardness, office politics and a failing marriage and it's a pleasant way to pass 94 minutes.
Many well-known Australian actors appear in this film. It is a gentle and sympathetic look at the effects of economic change. The film also has comic moments where adolescent boys try to ask out a good-looking girl without much success. The movie leaves you smiling !!
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