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A partially fictionalised account of the childhood of Eileen Joyce, who would go on to be one of the greatest pianists of the 20th Century. It commences in her native Tasmania, where she's followed about by her beloved pet kangaroo, Twink. After learning to play the harmonica, she moves with her mother and brother to Western Australia to join her father who is labouring with very little success in the gold fields. The rest of the film depicts the grinding poverty of their existence, how Eileen loves the piano and is taught to play at Convent school, finally winning at a local music festival.
Suzanne Parrett gives a very likable, sympathetic, performance as the young Eileen, the early scenes being particularly charming, and there's no doubt that the film-makers' hearts were in the right place. But sad to say it all becomes increasingly slow and tedious, and it's hard to see the point of a biopic that ends abruptly just as its subject's life is becoming more interesting. The overall lack of imagination is perhaps reflected in the paucity of footage of Eileen Joyce herself, just a couple of brief extracts of her playing the Grieg Piano Concerto.
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