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YMMV / Picnic at Hanging Rock

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  • Discredited Meme: Everyone knows how corny it is to shout "Miranda! Miranda!" while you climb Hanging Rock, but practically everybody who visits the site still does it.
  • Epileptic Trees: Hoo boy. At least one actual book of theories about what happened has been published: Yvonne Rousseau's The Murders at Hanging Rock. Rousseau discusses these possibilities: the girls went to Another Dimension, there was some sort of supernatural occurrence, the story takes place in an Alternate Universe, they were murdered by Michael and Albert, or they became victims of an Alien Abduction. Popular ingredients for other theories include the rock as a Genius Loci, Shapeshifting, Time Travel, and the Aboriginal concept of The Dreamtime.
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  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: Probably the Fan-Disliked Explanation. The novel made its readers produce thousands of guesses about what is behind the girls' disappearances - from the whole thing being the work of a rapist/kidnapper to the headmistress molesting girls and driving them to suicide to the rock itself trapping them inside. After the author's death, the eighteenth chapter with the explanation was finally released. As it turned out, the girls turned into lizards and got sucked into a time warp. The fans felt that it was anticlimactic and nonsensical. Even Peter Weir, to whom the author showed the ending chapter, advised her not to publish it and didn't include it into a movie.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Miranda, Marion and Irma all have the same first four letters in their names.
    • In the classroom scene with Sara, Mrs. Appleyard confuses Felicia Hemans' "Casabianca" with Longfellow's "The Wreck of the Hesperus"—one of the signs that she may be a Con Artist.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Mlle. de Poitiers almost predicts the title of a notable future film about a Boarding School when she says "Au revoir, mes enfants!"
    • The opening credits mention Gheorghe Zamfir and his pan flute playing. Anyone who watched American TV in The '80s and The '90s will chuckle on seeing his name, since there was a cheesy commercial for an album by him that aired constantly.
  • Ho Yay: In the miniseries, lots of barely contained subtext between Mike and Albert, as well as between Mike and some unnamed schoolmates back in England (implied to be the reason he's been sent to Australia until the gossip dies down).
    • The book has them respectively obsessed with Miranda and Irma, but whenever they're around the young ladies in question, they default to such shameless Character Shilling of one another that it's hard not to read a mutual crush into their obvious admiration. Plus the fact that they appear to have settled down together in Queensland in the Where Are They Now epilogue.
  • Les Yay: We already know the Romantic Two-Girl Friendship between Miranda and Sara, but there's some subtext between Mlle de Poitiers and Miranda, Mlle de Poitiers and Irma, and between Miss McCraw and Mrs Appleyard.
    • The miniseries includes barely subtextual romances between Miranda/Irma, Marion/Miss McCraw, (probably one-sided) Sara/Miranda, and Miranda/Irma/Marion.
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  • Older Than They Think: A teenager named Tony Ingram got approval from Joan Lindsay to make a low-budget DIY adaptation of the novel called The Day of Saint Valentine, but he was forced to abandon it with only a few minutes of footage completed after the book's formal film rights were sold. It's been included as an extra in some of the finished film's DVD releases.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Even today people do go missing in the Australian bush, never to be seen again.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Jacki Weaver, who plays the maid, Minnie, has, much more recently, achieved two Oscar nominations.
    • Albert is Mick Taylor.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Practically every single element of the story can be discussed as a metaphor about the tension between human beings and nature, as well as the huge subtext of young people and their sexual awakening.
  • The Woobie: Sara and her tragic character arc. She's an orphan who has Hidden Depths, but is treated like dirt by Mrs. Appleyard, and is viewed as eccentric by her classmates, except Miranda, who she has a deep bond with. Then Miranda disappears.

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