Alexandra's Project


by Tuna

Alexandra's Project is an Australian psychological drama/thriller written, produced and directed by Rolf de Heer. We are introduced to a suburban family. Dad is a mid-level executive, clearly a caring, nurturing father of two children. He is given a surprise cake at the office, and receives a major promotion later in the day. He is on top of the world as he comes home to an expected surprise party. He is surprised, but not with a party. The house, which his wife has improved with locks, security shutters, etc, is dark. The furniture has been pushed aside, all the lights have been removed from their sockets, and nobody is home. All that remains is a video tape he is to watch.

He believed that his marriage was OK. His wife Alexandra feels differently, and uses the occasion of his birthday to finally stand her ground and communicate that fact. The rest of the film consists of Alexandra on the video tape, and his reactions.

Nobody seems to be able to talk about this film without getting emotional, whether they like it or hate it, and whether they think the villain is Alexandra or her husband. Performances by Helen Buday and Gary Sweet are brave and spot-on. The film is finely crafted, and, based on the controversy, obviously has emotional impact.

I found it completely engaging. A precious few films connect with me on a deep emotional level, and this was one of them. This is not a "feel good" movie, but it is a powerful one.

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


Emotionally resonant arthouse fare. Compare to The War Zone or The Sweet Hereafter.


  • Full body nudity from Helen Buday and Gary Sweet.



53 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)
62 (of 100)




It grossed about $700,000 in Australia, which is pretty strong for an arthouse film in a country with 20 million people. That would about equal to a $10m gross in the USA, which would be spectacular for this type of film.



6.9 IMDB summary (of 10)
Alexandra's Project
It is scarce worldwide, but is available from on a Region 4 PAL in a Special Edition that includes a lengthy Q & A session with Rolf de Heer, and a behind the scenes featurette. The Q & A session is particularly interesting, as it focused on themes in the film, not the mechanics of film making.