P.J. Hogan’s Mental to close MIFF 2012

The Melbourne International Film Festival will close on August 18 with P.J. Hogan’s Mental.

Mental reunites writer-director P.J. Hogan with his original leading lady Toni Collette for the first time since Muriel's Wedding. The film follows the story of the Moochmore family after mother Shirley (Rebecca Gibney), unable to cope with her five teenage daughters and philandering husband, Barry (Anthony LaPaglia), suffers a nervous breakdown. A hitchhiker named Shaz (Collette) then enters the family home as nanny.

“How wonderful that we are able to book-end the 2012 MIFF with what will surely be two of the biggest Australian films of the year, in The Sapphires and Mental," MIFF artistic director Michelle Carey said. "Featuring an incredible ensemble cast, P.J. Hogan’s new film is as outrageously fun as it is smart and moving."

The festival will also hold a world premiere screening of local cricket comedy Save Your Legs! which stars Stephen Curry, Damon Gameau and Brendan Cowell. The film, which follows a Melbourne cricket team who pitch their childhood dreams from the suburbs to the Subcontinent, was supported by the MIFF-Premiere Fund.

Also featuring in the Australian Showcase is the world premiere of ABC TV series Jack Irish – Bad Debts. It stars Guy Pearce as the eponymous former criminal lawyer, part-time private investigator and debt collector.

Other Australian films include MIFF Premiere Fund-supported documentary The First Fagin; Luke Walker’s Lasseter’s Bones; Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s Hail; Indigenous documentary Coniston; and World War II outback documentary Croker Island Exodus.

The full program can be found at the MIFF website.