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Opal Dream (2006)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 761 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 5 user | 23 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A young girl's relationship with her imaginary friends resonates throughout her town in the Australian Outback.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Opal Dream (2006)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sapphire Boyce ...
Kellyanne Williamson
Christian Byers ...
Ashmol Williamson
...
Rex Williamson
...
Annie Williamson
...
Sid
Anna Linarello ...
Betsy
...
Vera Dunkley
...
Dan Dunkley
Stephen Potter ...
Lyndon Dunkley
Sharni Honor ...
Sandra Dunkley
...
Ms Banamooka
Anthony Braun ...
Lyndon's Gang
Casey Frew ...
Lyndon's Gang
Martin Grava ...
Lyndon's Gang
Roberto Crisa ...
Jes
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Storyline

A young girl's relationship with her imaginary friends resonates throughout her town in the Australian Outback.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

. . . a rare gem of an Australian family film See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements, language and some violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

22 November 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amigos Imagin├írios  »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 11,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,716 (USA) (22 November 2006)

Gross:

$13,751 (USA) (23 March 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Spirit in the sky
Written and performed by Norman Greenbaum
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User Reviews

 
Story of reconciliation
9 June 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Screened on DVD June 8, 2008

It's a warm holiday season in the South Australia mining town of Coober Pedy, and for the Williamson family, festivities are juggled around nine-year-old Kellyanne's devotion to her invisible playmates, Pobby and Dingan, and her dad, Rex's, single-minded pursuit of the perfect opal.

The hypnotic gems possess a dangerous allure, as the girl's brother, Ashmol, says in his framing narration to "Opal Dream." Everybody comes to the place to dream -- presumably about a better life somewhere -- as they dig for opals. The more you dream, the deeper you want to dig, but if you dig too deep, you might never get out -- never wake up, he says.

For the Williamsons, the town offers dreams and not much else. Rex hopes to strike it rich for his wife, Annie, and their kids. But after a year in town, they don't have much. Rex needs a bit of luck at the races to afford the kids' Christmas presents.

Moving to Coober Pedy has taken the hardest toll on Kellyanne, for whom Pobby and Dingan are two very real people, and she shares with everyone her enthusiasm for her friends' artistic, gentle, natures. "They're pacifists," she explains.

Her teacher says Kellyanne has a vivid imagination but she's a dreamer who doesn't have many friends -- "she doesn't find people very easy." When Rex complains about Pobby and Dingan, Annie points out that they're as real as opals are to him.

Rex has his share of more tangible problems. He has relocated after an apparently minor brush with the law, and he finds himself in a community of narrow-minded ruffians who don't coddle to "ratters" -- blokes that come around at night and noodle around your claim for highly prized colored opals.

Adapted from a Ben Rice novel, "Pobby and Dingan," the movie "Opal Dream" is the story of Rex's reconciliation with his new town and his growing family as two crises unfold.

It all starts off innocently. In a clumsy but well-meaning attempt to wean his daughter off Pobby and Dingan, Rex offers to take the amorphous pair along to the mines with him and Ashmol while she and Mom go to a holiday party. Kellyanne agrees, but when he comes home without her unseen sidekicks, Kellyanne talks him into going back to look for them. When he does, the bloke at a nearby mine discovers Rex on his claim and calls the cops.

Rex is soon headed to a hearing to face mining violation charges. Worse, the whole town turns on the family: Annie loses her job at a grocery store and, when Ashmol goes for a bike ride, he finds a rat swinging from the handlebars left by a gang of jeering kids. Again, Kellyanne gets the worst of it -- without Pobby and Dingan around, she falls ill and, to the bafflement of her doctors, steadily deteriorates.

The way the reconciliation is achieved carries the story satisfactorily through Act III. But the climax and resolution are squeezed together so tightly that the outcome for all the characters can only be described as ambiguous, especially for poor Kellyanne, whose actions were only the metaphor for her family's isolation.

Director Peter Cattaneo's production has an outstanding cast throughout, particularly the Williamson clan. Production values are excellent. Newcomer Sapphire Boyce is a strikingly beautiful child.


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