‘Doing Time for Patsy Cline’


To get a sense of what it’s like to serve hard time Down Under, try watching Doing Time for Patsy Cline, which claims to run 95 minutes but feels more like 25 to life. The film follows Ralph (Matt Day), a fresh-off-the-farm Australian bumpkin traveling to Nashville to become a country music singer. He hitches a ride with Boyd (Richard Roxburgh) and Patsy (Miranda Otto)—he’s a fast-talking bad boy; she’s the mysterious vixen who is crazy for trying, and crazy for lying, and crazy for loving him. When the cops raid Boyd’s car, Ralph winds up stuck in prison, where time keeps dragging on, surrounded by cellmates who are either violent psychopaths, remarkably talented musicians, or both—in other words, his life increasingly resembles the sort of classic country song he himself is incapable of writing. His incarceration is intercut with improbable success, as Ralph and Patsy meet again in America and become the hottest duo in town, with a repertoire of exactly one song. Writer-director Chris Kennedy delights in torturing his poor protagonist—what are the odds that a massive Aussie line dancers’ convention would take place in the abandoned train yard right across the street from his jail?—but enduring this oddly humorless “comedy” is even harder on the audience.Doing Time for Patsy Cline
Written and directed by Chris Kennedy
Opens March 3, Quad