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Looking for Alibrandi (2000)

A teenage Australian girl deals with the traumas of everyday life. These include her difficult relationship with her single mother, the unexpected return of her long-lost father, the ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay)
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7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Katia Alibrandi
Kerry Walker ...
Sister Louise (Nun)
Pia Miranda ...
...
...
Leanne Carlow ...
Sera Conti
Diane Viduka ...
Anna Selicic
...
Michael Gallina ...
Robert
Rosa DiMarte ...
Patrizia
Domenico DiMarte ...
Riccardo
Tyrone Lara ...
Anton Valavic
...
Mr. Barton

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Storyline

A teenage Australian girl deals with the traumas of everyday life. These include her difficult relationship with her single mother, the unexpected return of her long-lost father, the disapproving nuns at her strict Catholic school, the acceptance of her schoolmates,and romantic dilemmas over two very different boys. Written by Phythian

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Sometimes what you're looking for is closer than you think...

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

4 May 2000 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Alibrandia etsimässä  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anthony LaPaglia's character, Michael Andretti, lives in Adelaide, where LaPaglia himself was born. See more »

Goofs

Christina was conceived in 1945, so born no later than 1946. She had Josie when she was seventeen years old, meaning Josie was born in early 1965 at the very latest (most likely earlier). Josie is seventeen in the film, which would point to a setting around 1980 (give or take). However, several things - costumes, use of mobile phones, musical references, city features, various props and decor items - come from around the turn of the century, some twenty years later. See more »

Quotes

Christina Alibrandi: I wonder what I did to deserve you.
Josie Alibrandi: Would you like me to refresh your memory?
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Connections

References La Dolce Vita (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Moon
Written by Eric Chapus
Performed by Endorphin
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User Reviews

Agreeable adaptation
1 July 2000 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

A film treatment of a well-loved ( despite being prescribed school reading) children's story is always a delicate matter but here the makers have captured most of the spirit of the original, possibly helped by the fact that Melina Marchetta, the original author, also wrote the screenplay. Josie is the daughter of a single mother of Sicilian background who attends an exclusive Catholic girls' school on a scholarship. Her father, who she has never known, turns up out of the blue as a successful lawyer and she and her mother both have to cope with this not entirely welcome event. Josie, being 17, is also interested in boys, two in particular. One is a nice but insecure kid from the establishment, the other, self –confident and sexy, from a single parent home on the other side of the tracks. Also in the story is Josie's Nona (Grandma), long widowed after a loveless marriage, who lives nearby and keeps a close check on Josie's doings. Josie's occasional voice-overs and her lapses into fantasy give the film a slightly Adrian Mole-ish atmosphere, but Josie's family and friends are not grotesque, just human.

Women who haven't had a father while growing up are supposed to find it more difficult to handle adult males and Josie has to learn to deal with a father and boyfriends at the same time. She also has to handle to snobbery at school, not to mention the burden of the dreaded HSC exam in her final year. She is aiming high (law at a prestigious university) so that she can escape from little Italy and the annual tomato sauce bottling. She learns, of course, that you cannot escape from what made you, you can only make it work for you. As in real life, nothing quite works out according to plan, but at the end she's a year older and wiser.

It's Pia Miranda's film. Her Josie is assertive, vulnerable and warm. A raft of good supporting actors back her up. Greta Scacchi, often cast as a sex bomb, is a blowsy but loving Mum. Anthony La Paglia is a bit of a stock character as the new-found father but has a couple of good scenes. Elena Cotta as Nono and Matthew Newton and Kick Gurry as the silvertail and rough trade boyfriends also do good work. Kerry Walker, so often cast as a female monster, puts in a restrained performance as a firm but sympathetic schoolteacher. I also liked Josie's two girlfriends Anna and Sara, the 'wog chicks' in the old Merc, and their no-holds barred approach to enjoying life despite the HSC and demanding parents. Sydney city vistas are also used to good effect – the bridges, the harbour, Bondi Beach, and there was even a school debate in the foyer of the Opera Theatre. It was nice to get away from the grunge Sydney seen in 'Two Hands' etc.

I noticed that though I could hardly be described as being in the target audience for this film I was smiling most of the way through and emerged from the cinema with a reasonably cheerful feeling. It's not a particularly dramatic story but it's easy to warm to the characters. A film adaption that works, it seems.


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