7.3/10
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38 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?

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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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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
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Mr. Masters
Deborah Piper ...
Janet - 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:

Normal is relative. 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

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Language:

Release Date:

6 March 2008 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

A fekete léggömb  »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,342 (USA) (5 December 2008)

Gross:

$10,342 (USA) (5 December 2008)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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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

Country Girls
Music by Guy Gross
Lyrics by John Palmer
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Solid and Truthful, A Movie Worth Seeing
8 March 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This true to life film is a inside glimpse into a family that is, at its core, held together by the mother. Toni Collette plays the mother of an autistic son. Her performance is real and a driving force in the film. Her autistic son Charlie is a trial for the entire family and for his mother, whose life is so static and day in day out, she has come to accept Charlie for the person he is and she does this through simple love.

At the center of the story is the other son, Thomas (Rhys Wakefield) and his burden of keeping his brother Charlie a secret and his further burdens of family life. When father Simon is away from the home it is Thomas who tries to run the household. Charlie is played by Luke Ford who gives a wonderful performance (remember him from The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor). Their family struggles with bouts of seeming normalcy and shocking bits of harsh truth and bitter reality.

Thomas develops a strained relationship with a girl that is nice to him. This girl, Jackie (Gemma Ward) is striking and upon making it clear that she likes Thomas finds that he doesn't know how to deal with this. Both solid performances by Gemma Ward, a model, and Rhys Wakefield with his truthful, from the gut acting.

Written and directed by Elissa Down, who has two autistic brothers in real life, obviously brings her experiences to bear and is innately able to bring pressure to this trouble torn family while bringing out some very emotional love. The winner of this film is Toni Collete whose acting through the turmoil is completely convincing. The acting together with a strong script really make this a movie worth seeing.


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