Upright Review

As the year winds down, Foxtel unveils its next Aussie drama production, Upright.

Note: while all episodes were watched prior to compiling this review, details beyond the premiere are limited.

Upright tells the story of family outcast Lucky Flynn (Tim Minchin), who hasn’t been home to Perth in eight years. Having heard the news that his mother Jen (Heather Mitchell, A Place To Call Home) is dying, Lucky sets out from Sydney to journey home with nothing but an upright piano. But his plans soon turn upside down when he meets the rouge and feisty teenager Meg (Milly Alcock, Fighting Season).

When their worlds collide, Meg is dealing with her own family problems, while Lucky is needing to reach and repair his family relationships, which includes his brother Toby (Daniel Lapaine, Black Mirror). As the pair set out on a race against time, what secrets will they uncover about each other along with way, and will they make their destination in time?

Upright, consisting of eight episodes, was written by Tim Minchin and The Chaser’s Chris Taylor, alongside award-winning actors Kate Mulyany (Lambs of God) and Leon Ford (Offspring). At first glance, it seems like just a story about a man and his piano. But it’s more than this. It’s a brilliantly written road trip between two people that balances on a fine line between comedy and drama. By using flashbacks, we discover the many different layers of our lead characters during their journey.

Director Matthew Saville (Cloudstreet) brings the landscape to life and add in Minchin providing original music for the series, on top of an impressive Australian soundtrack and you’ve got the backdrop for a brilliant Australian series.

Casting-wise, Tim Minchin brings the down-on-his-luck Lucky to life with a deep impact that will draw you in and leave you wondering why the piano is so important. Milly Alcock continues to be the one to watch with a multi-layered performance as the smooth-operator Meg. Both shine as the road trip progresses throughout the series.

Joining them along the way are a wide range of Australian talent, including Rob Collins (Cleverman as Kane, who gets more than he bargained for when he faces Meg in a pool, and Ella Scott Lynch (Love Child) as Susie, a girl we meet before Lucky moved to Sydney who  is now married and hiding a few secrets…

Upright is a road trip I couldn’t recommend enough, so do yourself a favour and go on a wild road trip across Australia with two misfits who will steal your heart and remind us to breathe and enjoy life.

5 Stars

Watch Upright  in double episodes on Fox Showcase or binge on demand from Sunday, December 1 at 8:30 PM