7.3/10
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39 user 42 critic

The Black Balloon (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 6 March 2008 (Australia)
All Thomas wants is a normal adolescence but his autistic brother, Charlie, thwarts his every opportunity. Will Thomas, with the help of his girlfriend, Jackie, accept his brother?

Director:

Writers:

, (as Jimmy The Exploder)
18 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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...
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Sarah Woods ...
Woman Next Door
Sam Fraser ...
Kid Next Door
Makirum Fahey-Leigh ...
Mate of Kid Next Door
Oliver Brookes ...
Other Mate of Kid Next Door
Jan Ringrose ...
Neighbour
Bradley Orford ...
Neighbour
Zelie Bullen ...
Mother in Van
...
Mr. Masters
Deborah Piper ...
Janet - Social Worker
...
Trevor - Social Worker
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Storyline

Thomas is turning 16. His dad's in the army and they've just moved to a town in New South Wales; his mom is pregnant; his older brother, Charlie, who's autistic, has his own adolescent sexual issues. Thomas finds Charlie an embarrassment in public, so when Thomas is attracted to Jackie, a girl in his swim class, Charlie presents any number of obstacles when she drops by their house, when the three of them go for a walk, and during a family birthday dinner. Can Thomas find a way to enter the world of teen romance and still be his brother's keeper, or is Charlie's disability going to prove more than Thomas can handle? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the producer of "Strictly Ballroom." See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content, a scene of violence, and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 March 2008 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

A fekete léggömb  »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD 5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$94,347 (Australia), 20 April 2008, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,342, 7 December 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$87,944, 27 April 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,136,663, 31 December 2008
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A Bronze Medallion is an Australian Lifesaving qualification. There are 14 components that must be completed to achieve this qualification, all based around high quality swimming skills and rescue techniques. See more »

Quotes

Maggie Mollison: Simon the underwear goes on the inside.
Simon Mollison: Maggie please you don't have to worry about it.
Maggie Mollison: It's very embarrassing.
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Connections

Features Dot and the Kangaroo (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's A Jolly Good Fellow
Traditional
Performed by the Mollison family and Jackie
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Life is neither fair nor easy

Life isn't easy for Thomas. Living as the younger brother in a family of four, with a fifth on the way is hard enough to begin with. It's even worse when the older brother is severely autistic and unable to care for himself in any way. So, quite naturally, Thomas struggles with growing up.

Films dealing with family lives like this only work when they show all the sides to a story and this one does it well. All the members of the family are properly introduced and their interaction is done well enough to give the impression that it is a perfectly normal family, which has a specific difficulty added to it.

The complexities of living with a mentally handicapped person are brought out well enough without ever being overly sentimental and, as far as I know from the interaction I have had with several autistic people, real enough.

All in all it is a real good film about growing up and growing up with a tremendous challenge making it harder on you. I loved it, and even more so because I know what Thomas went through from personal experience.


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