It tells the story of Romulus, his beautiful wife, Christina, and their struggle in the face of great adversity to bring up their son, Raimond. It is a story of impossible love that ultimately celebrates the unbreakable bond between father and son.
Chopper tells the intense story of Mark "Chopper" Read, a legendary criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a jail sentence in prison. His book, "From the Inside", upon which the film is based, was a best-seller.
Raimond Gaita (1946 - ) comes of age in Frogmore, Victoria in the early 1960s. His parents are immigrants: his Romanian father farms; his German mother, Christina, estranged from Romulus, is in Melbourne. Romulus is near despair when she takes up with the brother of his best friend, who suggests he send for a new wife from back home. For Rai, poverty, bruises, and the mysterious ways of adults compete with his longing for a stable home and his own incipient puberty. Love and madness lie in the same bed. As an old woman tells Rai, "Sometimes what you reckon and what you get ain't the same thing." Written by
Eric Bana stated in an interview that during filming, he remembered much of his own family's struggles and as a result, it felt a bit like his own history. See more »
The Sun Records pressing of Jerry Lee Lewis's "Real Wild Child," played several times in the movie, could not have existed in 1962. Lewis did record the song for Sun, but in the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth (which includes Australia), Sun records were released on the Decca label under license from the U.S.-based Sun company. The record could not be an American import, either, because it has a small spindle hole instead of the large hole on all American 45s of the period. See more »
[noticing the looks that the ladies are giving Romulus]
Why are they looking at you?
Because they want to be friendly.
See more »
Music by Georges Boulanger and Jimmy Kennedy
Performed by The Platters
Published by EMI Music Publishing
Licenced courtesy of J. Albert & Son Pty Lim.
Under Licence from Island Def Jam USA
Licenced courtesy of Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd. See more »
I watched Romulus, My Father, without high expectations. In many respects, those low expectations were met. In typically Aussie film-making fashion, there were long, languid shots of dry, arid landscapes; long silences and meaningful faraway looks; and a film that doesn't so much flow as consist of a series of short, static scenes. As noted elsewhere, it's a difficult film to watch.
It's also a brilliant, beautiful piece of film-making. In no short part, this is due to the actors assembled. Before watching it, I didn't know that Franka Potente featured in the film, and her presence alone adds another dimension to the movie. Eric Bana is a fine actor - as with "Munich", he seems ill at ease at first, but gradually blends into the role adding layers of complexity and subtlety. Martin Csokas is always a welcome addition to any screen. But, of course, the real star is young Kodi Smit-McPhee. The magnificence of this film, for me, was the aching beauty of the way it portrayed the desperate sadness that so often accompanies childhood. Nobody, literally nobody, could have portrayed this better than this young boy.
I thought of other superb child acting performances - Anna Paquin in "The Piano", Christian Bale in "Empire of the Sun", Rory Culkin in "You Can Count On Me", Kirsten Dunst in "Interview With the Vampire", Eamonn Andrews in "The Butcher Boy" - then I thought of the kids in "Turtles Can Fly", "A Time for Drunken Horses", "The White Balloon", Misha Philipchuk in "The Thief", the Indian boy whose name escapes me in "Salaam Bombay". There are heaps of outstanding performances by kids in meaningful movies, and Smit-McPhee's ranks right up alongside the very best of them.
Everybody concerned with this film deserves congratulations - the director, the writers, the cinematographers. I haven't seen too many really great Australian films - maybe "Muriels Wedding", "Swimming Upstream", "The Tracker" - but this one is right up there.
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