This brainy Australian thriller from Robert Connolly does for fractals what Darren Aronofsky’s Pi did for, uh, π. It begins in a sleepy rural schoolroom where a visiting banking official is teaching the kids about accrued interest. One sharp lad, Jim Doyle, scribbles down the formulas with a gleam in his eye.
Fast-forward 20 years: Jim (David Wenham, both geeky and suave) is now a rogue mathematical genius who thinks fractals and chaos theory could influence the stock market. Simon O’Reilly (the marvelous, ubiquitous Anthony LaPaglia), the ruthless CEO of the mega-powerful CentaBank, wants to suck the marrow out of Jim’s talents and make obscene profits. Michelle Roberts (Sibylla Budd) is the savvy, sexy teller who seduces Jim and guesses his motives even before he does. Cinematographer Tristan Milani proceeds as if the Outback were a dreamtime hallucination as he gives us the sterile towers and anonymous basements of the Southern Hemisphere’s epicenter of culture and finance. in short, this debut film from Connolly is whipsmart and scary. (103 minutes)