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Looking for Alibrandi
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Looking for Alibrandi More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A breath of fresh air

Author: prophesy62 from Canberra, Australia
24 May 2000

Being only 16 i don't think that I am able to comment on the film's technical qualities or on it's relationship with the novel; I've never read it. What I can say is that Looking for Alibrandi is a wonderful movie. Australian's have finally made a truly excellent teen movie and we have beat the American's at their own game. This was a true breath of fresh air from the typical American high school movie filled with jocks, nerds and cheerleaders. For once the heroine does not win the boy by changing her hairstyle or clothes. Pia Miranda is increadible as Josie Alibrandi and plays her role almost flawlessly, she steals the entire show. Josie has the right mix of strength and vulnerability and shows herself to be a fantastic role model for young girls. Miranda is supported by an equally talented cast who all perform excellently. Kick Gurry (Jacob) and Matthew Newton (John) are outstanding in their roles, as are the entire Alibrandi/Andretti family. It also has to be said that the movie's handling of the issue of teen suicide was mature and eye-opening, thank-you for not lecturing us. Looking for Alibrandi is a story about life, love and finding yourself and it is a credit to all those involved in it.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

One of the best Australian films.

Author: rudi ( from adelaide, australia
8 May 2000

"Looking For Alibrandi" is a great film. It shows what impact culture and family background can have on an Australian girl learning about the world. The movie also points out how important family values are to children growing up in todays society. One characters teenage suicide was an awful example of how the interests of young minds should be respected and the fact that the youth of today should be able to decide on their own futures with the full attention and best wishes of parents. Alot happens in the mind of a teenager, especially in their final year of high-school. Their thoughts and emotions should always be listened to and cared for.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Looking in all the right places.

Author: Robert Nicholas (Rob-77) from Perth, Western Australia
22 April 2001

Okay, so firstly this is a fine Australia film. What that means is that it is quirky, memorable, identifiable and just a great way to spend an hour or so. Don't expect big names, well outside of Australia, and don't expect guns, car chases, FX, or your typical Hollywood blaise. This film goes to prove that the simple story of a girl looking for who she is in the world, can still bring a tear to ones eye.

Secondly, for the ladies, if you are looking for a good "chick-flick" you can hardly go wrong. And for the lads, Pia epitamises the "girl next door" look.

Lastly, if you haven't experienced a good Aussie movie and don't fancy a youthful Mel Gibson, why not give this movie a go. I highly recommend it.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Nice teen drama...

Author: Henry Fields ( from Spain
18 August 2006

"Looking for Alibrandi" could be labeled as a teen-comedy, but the truth is that genre is rather connected with dumb cheerleaders and quarterbacks full of testosterone, so it would be quite unfair to put "LFA" into that bag, for this is a more serious movie, the characters are not complete idiots and the story deals with matters such as the pressure that parents put on their children when it's time for them to choose a career, or the immigration issue (the main characters are Italian that live in Australia).

In short: it's a kind movie that's been well filmed and with much more quality than the most of the sickly sweet Hollywood products such as "Never been kissed" and stuff.

*My rate: 6/10

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A surprising and fantastic independent film.

Author: misohungry ( from New Zealand
8 September 2001

LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI (2000) Rating: 9/10

This Australian teen comedy is a must-see. It has a simply honest story about a girl dealing with life, love and finding out her true father. This girl's name is Josie, an Aussy-Italian who is brought blazingly to life by promising newcomer Pia Miranda. The film has plenty of groovy one-liners and characters you can relate to at all times of life. The film is never too funny or never too serious, just about the right mix, while also adding a sprinkle of romance. The script never slows down, unless it's cockling about with Josie's father issue which is still very intriguing and true to life. The film has a great sense of humour to laugh at and with its amazingly detailed characters, and at the end it'll leave a big grin on your face that won't fade quick. Looking for Alibrandi, is a fantastic journey into the life of an Australian-Italian teen, it's not a comedy you may be overly keen to see, but it is not forgotten quickly, guaranteed.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Agreeable adaptation

Author: Philby-3 from Sydney, Australia
1 July 2000

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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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Delightful, Non-Stereotypical Look at Teens in Ethnic Community Down Under

Author: noralee from Queens, NY
12 December 2005

I saw "Looking for Alibrandi" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Down Under Film Fest.

We so rarely get to see glimpses of Australia's ethnic immigrant communities. With shades of "Household Saints" and "Moonstruck" here's a coming-of-age movie set in Sydney's Little Italy.

The pluses and minuses of being a high school senior in a close-knit family and community are warmly and hilariously portrayed visually. (How do they keep their young 'uns at school and work when the beach laps practically onto the city streets?)

Co-star Anthony LaPaglia (as a very non-stereotypical Italian father), who did a "Q & A" after the movie, felt the Italian community portrayal accurately reflected his experiences growing up in Adelaide.

Faithfully based on a popular "Young Adult" novel (with a few plot changes), its lack of clichés about family and dating was refreshing -- the just out of reach Golden Boy is tormented by his own demons; the seductive Bad Boy is no lout, but captain of the opposing school's debate team with his own vulnerability issues.

The "curse" on the women in the family is quite touching and realistic, without simple Hollywood solutions.

While the Ozzies in the audience caught more of the jokes faster as the slang and native references kept the Americans dependent on context, do watch out to see this delightful movie where ever you can.

(originally written 10/7/2001)

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Finally a decent "love story" with a twist of multiculturism

Author: Imo (IMO34) from Tasmania
28 July 2001

I don't usually like "love stories" but having read the book and having enjoyed the book, I went along to this movie. Being an Aussie movie was also a highlight for me because I am used to trashy American sop stories. I knew this movie was good because even the meanest movie reveiwers enjoyed it. I came out of it and felt like jumping with joy because FINALLY some movie makers had made a realistic "love tale"!

The fact that the movie also deals with racism, and all those other "isms" (ageism, sexism and so on) raised it up a notch for me. It was THE best Aussie movie I saw that year and probably even just the best movie.

I don't know if everyone would enjoy it, but I think most people would get something out of it.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Comments on Alibradi, I liked it

Author: guion ( from Newnan, Georgia
26 May 2001

This was an amazing movie, correctly portraying what goes through the mind of a teenage girl. It also deals with issues that many teens have to deal with such as death and dealing with your parents and relationships with boys etc. This movie was a great light-hearted film that should win an award just for the fact that the thoughts that went through Josie's head were just what go through say my 16 year old head! if you haven't seen this movie you MUST!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Somewhat disappointing

Author: trut from Melbourne Australia
24 May 2000

I was looking forward to viewing this promising new Australian movie, yet I was disappointed at its lack of depth of emotion, and film style.

The story, once a novel, is well written and warming, and the father-daughter relationship is quite touching, yet I felt that some of the strongest emotions were only lightly dismissed.

The film is visually quite colourful, and has a slight Australian teen soap feel to it.

I recommend that you see this film, if only once, for the story at least.

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