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River Queen (2005)

6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 1,990 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 18 critic

An intimate story set during the 1860s in which a young Irish woman Sarah and her family find themselves on both sides of the turbulent wars between British and Maori during the British colonization of New Zealand.

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(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: River Queen (2005)

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3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sarah O'Brien
...
Doyle
...
Wiremu
...
Te Kai Po
...
Baine
Rawiri Pene ...
Boy (as David Rawiri Pene)
...
Francis
Wi Kuki Kaa ...
Old Rangi
Mark Ruka ...
Hone
Mikaila Hutchinson ...
Young Sarah
Tyson Reweti ...
Tommy Boy
Grayson Putu ...
Young Wiremu
Nathan Passfield ...
Boy (7 years)
Laura Coyte Douglas ...
Theresa
Julie Ranginui ...
Old Puhi
Edit

Storyline

An intimate story set during the 1860s in which a young Irish woman Sarah and her family find themselves on both sides of the turbulent wars between British and Maori during the British colonization of New Zealand.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

With darkness all around, only the heart can see. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent and sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 January 2006 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

River Queen  »

Box Office

Budget:

NZD 13,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Neill was originally favored by Vincent Ward to be cast in a leading role, but he declined. See more »

Goofs

The morning after Sarah gets her tattoo (done with a chisel), her chin is completely smooth and healed. In reality, her face would be quite swollen with open cuts for some time after. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A wonderful story with too many facets.
8 July 2006 | by (Fremantle, Australia) – See all my reviews

Peter Thompson, on this morning's Sunday show, gave River Queen a very favorable review; the review's timing was perfect because last evening Diane and I watched this new Kiwi film and drove home with mixed feelings about what we had just seen.

Thompson's reviews are usually spot-on for us but in this instance we are still not sure. Yes, Vincent Ward's story was superb: huge amounts of recognizable human drama, multidimensional characters, a gigantic historical background and everything framed by New Zealand's natural beauty. Vincent's direction accentuated each of these elements; he made great use of the land's physical beauty as well as the beauty and uniqueness of the individual Maori people. This last comment will take on meaning with the watching of the film because certain Maori characteristics play a huge visual as well as plot role in the film-perhaps unexpectedly for some viewers more than others. Alun Bollinger's cinematography beautifully captures Ward's shot selection; it is impossible to leave the theater and not have been captivated by the physical beauty of the New Zealand landscape.

I think the question must be asked: If I thought the film was so good, why did I only give it a rating of eight? The answer goes to the heart of why Diane and I were both uncomfortable with this superficially great film and that lies in the script, the third leg of Vincent's stool. We both thought the script was overly choppy; there were too many small pieces of story stitched together. I thought the film was too jumpy and that resulted in my concentration moving too quickly from one scene to another. I suppose that is just a matter of cinematic taste particular to one person and should not be used to paint an entire film.

River Queen is definitely worth seeing. The subject matter alone is worth the effort, with excellent acting by all concerned and magnificent scenery beautifully captured in thee film. The film must indeed be judged highly.


16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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