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Helena Bonham Carter,
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Paul, a prize-winning war journalist, returns to his remote New Zealand hometown due to the death of his father, battle-scarred and world-weary. For the discontented sixteen-year-old Celia he opens up a world she has only dreamed of. She actively pursues a friendship with him, fascinated by his cynicism and experience of the world beyond her small-town existence. But many, including the members of both their families, frown upon the friendship and when Celia goes missing, Paul becomes the increasingly loathed and persecuted prime suspect in her disappearance. As the violent and urgent truth gradually emerges, Paul is forced to confront the family tragedy and betrayal that he ran from as a youth, and to face the grievous consequences of silence and secrecy that has surrounded his entire adult life. Written by
The wartime photographs used for the film were taken by South African photojournalist Greg Marinovich. The photograph of the child was taken by Romano Cagnoni. See more »
All this time I wondered why you upped and left. You knew what he was up to didn't you... You know the really sad part - I didn't even find out until I read the will... You killed me when you walked away and left me with that evil piece of scum. You had the gall to come back here and bring that thing into our house, my mother's house... Like father, like son.
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The plot is not as dull as it sounds.... it is a fantastic movie!
When his father dies, Paul Prior (Matthew Macfadyen), a disillusioned and battle weary war photographer, decides to return home to New Zealand. His brother is caught off-guard by Paul's sudden re appearance after seventeen years away. Reluctantly re-visiting the dilapidated family property, he discovers his fathers old den tucked away in the equipment shed. Paul sets about clearing up and stumbles upon sixteen year-old Celia (Emily Barclay) who has been using the derelict hide-away as a private haven to write her stories and to fuel her dream of living in Europe, far away from the small town she longs to escape.
This seemingly uninteresting story-line masks a superb plot that slowly unfolds as the movie progresses. The characters are fantastic and the performances of Barclay, MacFadyen and the supporting cast is excellent. The subtle twists are very well hidden and the final explanation of the whole scenario is mind-blowing. In my opinion, this is a must see movie!
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