Celia (1989)

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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 430 users  
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An imaginative and somewhat disturbed young girl fantasizes about evil creatures and other oddities to mask her insecurities while growing up in rural Australia.



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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rebecca Smart ...
Celia Carmichael
Nicholas Eadie ...
Ray Carmichael
Victoria Longley ...
Alice Tanner
Mary-Anne Fahey ...
Pat Carmichael
Margaret Ricketts ...
Alexander Hutchinson ...
Steve Tanner
Adrian Mitchell ...
Karl Tanner
Callie Gray ...
Meryl Tanner
Martin Sharman ...
Evan Tanner
Clair Couttie ...
Heather Goldman
Alex Menglet ...
Mr. Goldman
Amelia Frid ...
Stephanie Burke
Inspector John Burke
Feon Keane ...
Soapy Burke
Louise Le Nay ...
Debbie Burke


An imaginative and somewhat disturbed young girl fantasizes about evil creatures and other oddities to mask her insecurities while growing up in rural Australia.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A tale of innocence corrupted. See more »


Drama | Fantasy | Horror


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Celia: Child of Terror  »

Filming Locations:

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Production Co:

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Did You Know?


The burn mark on Celia's rabbit is missing at the fishing docks. See more »

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User Reviews

Dead Rabbits
12 October 2010 | by (Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

This film made me uneasy. It's so real, so true to life, so light and so heavy, understated and over the top. It captures all the wild uneasiness and expression and off-center humanity of childhood, and makes it breathless and fully alive. It takes you all over the place. There's so many things going on, so many events and strange sights and sounds. The kids are swept along through some kind of strange journey, a backward and breathless running through life. This is not a horror film, or even a fantasy. It is a straightforward drama, that not only captures real life but delves deep into the sort of confused reality of imagination that children so often confuse with everything else.

This film made me uncomfortable. At times, it's alive and pure and safe and quiet. At other times, it's brash and explosive and emotionally uneasy. In the end, it's dark and deeply disturbed. You don't see it coming, but in a way, the ending colors everything that's come before. It's the believability that makes it so strange, so hard.

Rebecca Smart plays Celia. She shows a range of character that totally beyond expectation. She's confident, scared, awake, aware, confused. It takes a lot of time to understand all the complexities at work in her. Celia makes no sense, or maybe all too much. In the end, she becomes a more complete person. One who will live with things most of us could hardly even imagine.

Geoffrey Simpson's cinematography is totally realist. There's no strange photography, no experimentation. It's filmed like a regular story, without exaggeration. And it's all the better for it. This film's writer/director Ann Turner (who's done little else of note), creates a strange a powerful story with her understanding of character. She pushes through all of her strangest, most uneasy ideas without ever making you feel like you're not seeing real lives. Chris Neal creates some strongly effective music. It is at once timeless and perfectly fitting. It sounds little like any movie music I'd previously heard, but quite exactly fitting to the images. Otherworldly without feeling out of place.

"Celia" is not an average film. It sees and expresses things in a way utterly like any other in the history of film. It has no peers in this sense, and that alone makes it one of the most powerful cinematic experiences I've ever had. But the nature in how it grafts darkness to light, fear to joy, is disconcerting. If you still remember childhood, you can find yourself in the scenes of "Celia". This is not sensationalism. This is one little girl's precarious existence.

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