After an unexpected introduction to the world of competitive paper-plane throwing, the timid 12-year-old, Dylan Weber, finally makes it to the Aussie Junior Championships in Sydney. However, with a resigned father living in the past, Dylan will have to use his resourcefulness to come up with a winning paper-plane model for the World Junior Paper Plane Championship in Tokyo, to compete against skilful and very ambitious contestants. Clearly, at the end of Dylan's great adventure, the only important thing is fighting for what matters in life--and even though winning is something--never giving up is everything. Written by
The cricket game footage used in this movie is from Bangladesh tour of Australia, 1st Test: Australia v Bangladesh at Darwin, Jul 18-20, 2003, day 3, 15.1 and 17.6 ball. Both ball delivered by Gillespie. See more »
Bangladesh score 71/1 (15.1 over) when Dylan has gone to school. They score 74/1 (17.5 over) when he is back. To bowl 2.4 over about 15 minute (maximum) is required. See more »
Look! Look at this. There's a world out there, alright?
I don't get it?
You don't get it, Dad! You don't get it. I'm 12 and I get it. She's dead. She's not gonna come back. Ever. We're never gonna see her again...
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One of the biggest challenges of teaching 12 year old students is keeping them interested and engaged. A similar challenge for the director of a children's film targeted at a modern audience. Dylan (Ed Oxenbould) comes into a class that is full of classmates who are focused on the latest technology and do not interact with one another. When his teacher asks for all of their phones and devices, then introduces a student teacher who challenges the class to fly paper planes. There is a tenuous moment of consideration by the class, but they take up the challenge with enthusiasm and a competitive spirit. After winning the class challenge, Dylan gets ready for the next levels of competition in the region and around the country. He is encouraged by his friends and teacher to learn about effective flying of paper planes and how to win the future competitions. Dylan must work through the recent loss of his mother and the inevitable mourning of his father (Sam Worthington). As the multiple layers of this statonary aviation tale unfold, the competitions are merely a backdrop to this unique and heartfelt film.
It may seem like an odd premise for a big budget film, but Paper Planes is a wonderful, laugh-out-loud film directed by Australian Robert Connolly. The Australian cast is a who's who of modern cinema, but the film was masterfully carried by Oxenbould. The light-hearted story has its share of plot holes, but the family centric adventure was a joy to experience. The strength of the story makes up for some of the less than believable components. Connolly puts forward a seemingly breezy theme that opens the door to an unexpectedly mature backstory of life and death. He fortunately manages to skirt past the after school special story line. Even though there is the stereotypical bully, the chubby friend and the cool grandpa, the slow unfolding of the story allows for an unexpected depth to the film. Connolly's film is a joy for the younger and the older audience members.
Dad asked the question on the ride home, 'What did we think of the film?' Simple story, but it was fun to the end. The bittersweet father/son relationship unfolds in a timely manner and does not get boring. It made us want to go out and buy a paper plane book and travel out to the country side of our beautiful homeland. Australia is beautiful and the film was pretty good, too.
Reel Dialogue: What are the bigger questions to consider from this film? 1. What does the Bible say about death of a loved one? (Psalm 34:18, Revelation 21:4) 2. Why is family important? (Nehemiah 4:14, Ephesians 5:25)
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Kid's Korner are shorter reviews written by Russell Matthews' kid's perspective and based on a five star rating system @ Russelling Reviews #russellingreviews
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