7.6/10
1,485
16 user 16 critic

The Year My Voice Broke (1987)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 17 October 1987 (USA)
In 1962, a prepubescent boy in rural Australia watches painfully as his best friend and first love, an older girl, blossoms into womanhood and falls for a thuggish rugby player, setting off... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 (SD) with Prime Video

ON DISC
6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Flirting (1991)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Danny has been sent to boarding school, in this sequel to The Year My Voice Broke. Against a backdrop of bullying and sadistic teachers Danny strikes up an affair with an African girl, ... See full summary »

Director: John Duigan
Stars: Noah Taylor, Thandie Newton, Nicole Kidman
The Big Steal (1990)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

To impress a girl a shy teenaged boy buys a used Jaguar.

Director: Nadia Tass
Stars: Ben Mendelsohn, Claudia Karvan, Marshall Napier
Return Home (1990)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man and his wife are partners in a small business, a service station, that is stuggling to survive financially. They are visited by his brother, a divorced middle-aged man, who has taken ... See full summary »

Director: Ray Argall
Stars: Dennis Coard, Frankie J. Holden, Ben Mendelsohn
Lover Boy (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Explores the conflicting worlds of a teenager and a mature woman as they discover the full force of their sexuality.

Director: Geoffrey Wright
Stars: Noah Taylor, Gillian Jones, Ben Mendelsohn
Mullet (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A dark-sheep type of man returns to his hometown after a prolonged absence. While he's been gone ludicrous rumours have spread about his whereabouts. Is he a big footy player or is he a ... See full summary »

Director: David Caesar
Stars: Ben Mendelsohn, Susie Porter, Andrew S. Gilbert
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An expert on productivity shows wacky workers in 1966 Australia how to run their moccasin factory like clockwork, despite laying off more than half the workforce.

Director: Mark Joffe
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Ben Mendelsohn, Alwyn Kurts
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A widowed aeronautics engineer, who has lost his job, travels with his son hopping freight trains from Moscow to Koktebel, a town by the Black Sea, to start a new life with the father's ... See full summary »

Directors: Boris Khlebnikov, Aleksey Popogrebskiy
Stars: Gleb Puskepalis, Igor Chernevich, Evgeniy Sytyy
Don's Party (1976)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The movie Dons Party is about a wild house party in a suburban Australian neighbourhood. Don Henderson convinces his wife to have another party so that their friends can gather to watch the... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: John Hargreaves, Pat Bishop, Graham Kennedy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Hanif and Dean steal a cache of drugs from Dean's psychotic brother Jerry, and at the last minute get a lift with Mimi as she decides to drive to Perth. They pick up a drunken singer, ... See full summary »

Director: Stavros Kazantzidis
Stars: Naveen Andrews, Ben Mendelsohn, Miranda Otto
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A writer, Ned Kendall, is asked to return to the family home by his sister Sally, to say goodbye to his father who is dying. The family home is in a very remote and isolated area. While ... See full summary »

Director: Rachel Ward
Stars: Ben Mendelsohn, Maeve Dermody, Rachel Griffiths
Love Serenade (1996)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In Sunray, a backwater town on Australia's Murray River, there's little to do but fish or listen to the local radio station. D.J. Ken Sherry arrives from the hustle of Brisbane to run the ... See full summary »

Director: Shirley Barrett
Stars: Miranda Otto, Rebecca Frith, George Shevtsov
Chinese Box (1997)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The story of Hong Kong, from New Year's Day to June 30th, 1997, when the British left their colony and turned it over to the People's Republic of China.

Director: Wayne Wang
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Li Gong, Maggie Cheung
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Loene Carmen ...
Freya Olson
...
Trevor Leishman
Graeme Blundell ...
Nils Olson
Lynette Curran ...
Anne Olson
Malcolm Robertson ...
Judi Farr ...
Tim Robertson ...
Bob Leishman
...
Jonah
Harold Hopkins ...
Tom Alcock
...
Sergeant Pierce
Vincent Ball ...
Headmaster
Anja Coleby ...
Gail Olson
Kylie Ostara ...
Alison
Kelly Dingwall ...
Barry
Edit

Storyline

In 1962, a prepubescent boy in rural Australia watches painfully as his best friend and first love, an older girl, blossoms into womanhood and falls for a thuggish rugby player, setting off a chain of events that irreversibly changes the lives of everyone involved. Written by Jojo Mac

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It was incredible. It was the year that changed everything. Forever.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 October 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Australian Graffiti  »

Box Office

Gross:

$213,901 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

There are two movies that are featured in this film that have no entry on IMDB -"Teenage Runaway" (a poster for this adorns the wall at the Astor Cinema) and "Summer Fire" (the group goes to see this at the Astor). There is the possibility that these are fictional items created for this film. There is no copyright acknowledgment in the Credits for "Summer Fire", which would be expected if it was a real film. A search for "Teenage Runaway" on IMDB does not find any movies with this exact title, nor any with this theme from an appropriate time period (pre-1962). See more »

Goofs

Freya's hair position changes between camera angles while she's laying down being hypnotized by Danny. See more »

Connections

References The Leech Woman (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lark Ascending
Written by Ralph Vaughan Williams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Should be an instant addition to the Criterion collection
30 December 2009 | by (Bookseller of the Blue Ridge) – See all my reviews

"The Year My Voice Broke" is one of those unknown, quintessential diamond-in-the-rough films that can't seem to find its way into the DVD market, but breaths Criterion throughout the entire viewing. The daring, honest, and descriptive story of a young boy, his love for this older girl, and the tribulations of growing up in a small town are merely scratching the surface to what this film has to offer. It speaks, and pays homage, to those classic films from the late 40s, early 50s by creating a town with character, mythology, and individuality. One could argue that the town in which this film takes place is our fourth character, behind Danny, Freya, and Trevor – but perhaps this enthusiast is getting ahead of himself. Watching this import on a used VHS, the picture was grainy, the player made noise, and the sound was utterly destructive – yet the heart of this film oozed from the screen. The power of the characters, the detail of our story, and the truth in director/screenwriter John Duigan's words went from having meaning in a 1987 film (that was supposed to take place in 1962) to creating a story that didn't feel dated or old watching it today, at the end of 2009. That is the legacy of "The Year My Voice Broke", the raw emotion harassed in this film continues to be relevant today – perhaps even more. As Hollywood uses every CGI possible to recreate the same effect, all one needs to do is look back at films that used the old-fashioned method…great actors, a daring script, and a background that could knock your socks off.

To applaud this film, one would need to pat the back of a very young, a very talented, Noah Taylor. Taking on not just an awkward role, he needed to show his anger, his teenage frustration, as well as his headiness for brains instead of brawn. Noah Taylor, known to me as Technical Support in "Vanilla Sky", succeeded gracefully and with the power of most of our top paid American stars. His ability to show us his unconditional love for Freya, his quizzical hatred for Trevor, as well as his sleuthing skills proved that this kid was ready for anything. His co-workers inhabiting each scene worked with his dynamic and equally pushed their talents. Freya, played by Loene Coleman, a newbie to the screen, was enchanting as the love interest. While she wasn't quite the level of Mr. Taylor, her ability to carry her scenes worked. She was the classical bad-girl-next-door with secrets. Her chemistry with Taylor kept me glued to the screen. The same can be said for Trevor, played by Ben Mendelsohn, who's diabolical, nearly irritating, laugh created a character all his own. As the wildcard, we never knew what he was going to do next, and both our characters and our audience were scared of that. To demonstrate the intensity of these actors, watch closely the scene in which they spend the night in the "haunted" house near the railroad tracks. Each one has a motive, each actor/character delivers their emotion, and with each line the scene gets more and more powerful. I wasn't expecting this with children so young.

With these three dominate characters; one may ask what else would be needed for an independent film to succeed? One more, the town. As mentioned before, the town that these three (and many others) reside is reminiscent of our American "Bedford Falls". There are residents that have been their all their lives and secrets many of them keep to protect their town. Throughout the film, our characters are continually building their moments via smaller lives within the town. We learn about Danny's passion for the black arts, that Trevor knows the police firsthand, and that Freya's unknown secret keeps the town at bay. Without the closeness of this town, "The Year My Voice Broke" wouldn't have worked. If filmed in a bigger city, the intimate feeling of a protective yet destructive town would have floundered. The town drunk would have been less poignant, Danny's dad's role would have felt less personal, and the idea of home being safe would have felt less comforting. The town had to be a character in this film. Duigan knew it, developed it, and built it strongly into his film.

This was a character driven film. Without Noah Taylor, Loene Coleman, or Ben Mendelsohn, this film would have failed. It is hard to imagine anyone else being able to carry these characters, or that an American reality would pack as much of a punch. It was impressive to see Australia in 1962, a place we don't explore in cinema enough over past centuries. Director Duigan, if I haven't already drooled over him enough, understood this film, wrote a genuine story, and built a cinematic triumph. Alas, this film has been forgotten, but look closely at the cinematography, the lavish landscapes, the devotion of our characters, the above mentioned town – these all could not have been accomplished without a passionate eye. I applaud Duigan for his talent and ability to transform this 1980s film into a universally emotional and exciting moment of cinema.

Overall, I have said enough. I loved this movie. It was detailed, emotional, and beautiful. Everyone, from director to actors performed superbly. It was a rough couple of prior films, but "The Year My Voice Broke" provided that classic niche. It felt fresh and new, despite the age. I recommend this to everyone. Buy a VHS player and get a copy of this movie, you will not be disappointed.

Grade: **** 1/2 out of *****


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
when will this be released on dvd? a-busdriver
The new R-4 DVD (21st anniversary special edition) Winter-11
Freya's father? Piperx
Some good news re YMVB stuclegg
is nicole kidman actually in this? northernlad2002
Why is this so expensive from amazon? s1rst
Discuss The Year My Voice Broke (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?