Review: All About E

Mandahla Rose in All About E

Australian writer and director Louise Wadley brings us All About E, a story about an Arabic-Australian woman and her efforts to figure out her life. This effort includes losing love because of being closeted to her family, having lots of sex as a very cool DJ, absconding with a bag of money for a long road trip from Sydney to Wollongong, and finding love again.

Spoilers ahead.

Julia Billington, Mandahla Rose, and Brett Rogers in All About E
Julia Billington as Trish, Mandahla Rose as E and Brett Rogers as Matt

Mandahla Rose plays E. When we first meet her, she’s dressed like a matador having sex with a woman in a bathroom stall. She’s a popular DJ and the matador getup is part of her act. Her best friend, a gay Irishman, Matt (Brett Rogers) is designing an Arabian Knights setting for her to DJ in, but her boss Johnny (Simon Bolton) won’t let her do it. Nor will he let her DJ at another club.

Next morning, E and Matt wake up at home with a bulging bag of cash. They don’t know where it came from or how they got it, but E wants to keep it. Matt wants to report it to the police.

E wins. They run with the money. The money is Johnny’s and he really, really needs it back.

Everywhere they go to hide out, they are turned away. Many comic moments happen on the road trip. The best part of the long road trip are E’s memories of her past life. She’s a brilliant clarinet player who thinks Mozart is God, but she quit her university to be a DJ when she failed an exam. She had a relationship with Trish (Julia Billington) that she lost because she was closeted to her family. Next to Mozart, Trish was the best thing in her life and she has lovely memories of their time together.

Out of desperation, E and Matt go to E’s parents. Her mother Nadine (Kim Antonios Hayes) regrets giving up her singing career. Her mother criticizes every single thing about E. Her father Joseph (Lex Marinos) is a little more laid back – perhaps due to the liberal amount of liquor he consumes.

They learn Johnny is on the way and run again. He keeps figuring out where they are. He really wants that money back.

They decide to go to Melbourne, but E grabs a right while Matt’s asleep and drives to Trish’s place. Trish is trying to salvage a sheep ranch in the midst of a 10 year drought and is going broke. She reluctantly agrees to let E and Matt stay a night or two.

Mandahla Rose and Julia Billington in All About E
E and Trish in the calm before the getaway

We’ve know all along that E loves Trish because of her frequent daydreams and memories about her. Trish still loves E, even though she was hurt by her and doesn’t want to go through anything like that again.

Love wins. They cannot stay away from each other. Another spoiler alert: there is a long, nude love scene right about here in the story.

Johnny finds out about Trish and they have to run again. There are lengthy hikes, guns, poisoned meat, airplanes, knives to the throat and sleeping bags involved this time.

I don’t want to tell you how it all turns out in the end. The spoilers are over. You’ll have to watch it yourself to find out.

All About E is available from Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon video. It was released in 2015.

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3 thoughts on “Review: All About E”

  1. Thanks for the recommendation, t was really good, and one of the few lesbian films out there that doesn’t involve some kind of tragedy. E and Trish were both fantastic characters. Mandalha Rose nailed every scene she was in and really demonstrated the depths and complexity of her character. I really look forward to seeing her in more things.

    It wasn’t perfect, the pacing was pretty bad and it could have used a bit of trimming to tighten up the flow of the story, it definitely drags in a few places, but overall it was well done. The acting is spot on and the female characters are well written and believable. The male characters were a bit too one dimensional and seemed to serve more as plot devices than actual characters, but they were all secondary or tertiary characters so it doesn’t detract too much from the film as a whole.

    1. Glad you liked it. I actually watched it because it had a woman director, but I ended up thinking it was one of the better lesbian films I’ve seen. True, not perfect, but lots of points for telling a story in which no lesbians died.

      1. Many points for that. Not only did no one die, it had a happy ending that felt entirely natural and unforced. It was happy, but the characters had to earn it, it flowed naturally out of the growth of the characters. It was definitely one of the best crafted lesbian films I’ve seen, and in the top five for acting and chemistry between the lead female characters.

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