Amy Nicholson “The Royal Hotel,” the setting of Kitty Green’s ulcer-inducing thriller, is a sun-baked bar in a rural Australian mining town surrounded by terrain so monotone that Canadian backpackers Hanna (Julia Garner) and Liv (Jessica Henwick) can’t keep their eyes open on the way in.
The two young women arrive at their barmaid jobs with a sense palpable disorientation. They’ve quite literally woken up in Oz, and they don’t know the people, the customs, the nicknames for the local ales, or the way out.
The customers are, as you might expect, gruff and girl-starved. (The chalkboard sign heralding their first shift reads: “Fresh meat.”) Hanna and Liv are steeled for that.
They’re not idiots, even if their knowledge of Australia is pretty much limited to Fosters beer and kangaroos. Still, Green, a keen and steely talent, puts them — and us — through hell.Read more on variety.com