Coming of age: Heidi, 15, runs away from home after her mom sees her kissing mom's boyfriend. She goes to a Snowy River resort where a vague job offer doesn't pan out. She manages to find a place to live and a job at a convenience store. She's between childhood -- nursery rimes and a scrapbook of glittery unicorns - and adulthood - working, sorting out emotions and sexuality, and dealing with social slights and false charges of bad behavior. She's attractive and her loneliness makes her vulnerable. She sleeps with Joe, the son of local ranchers, and she awakens in him feelings he can't express. Is there any way she can put off adulthood and be a kid awhile longer?Written by
Made a clean sweep of the Australian Film Institute awards in 2004 to win in all 13 film categories - the first time this has ever occurred in the award's history. It beat the previous record of eleven AFI awards by The Piano (1993). See more »
When Joe pours hot water onto the icy windscreen of his car, no steam appears. See more »
You know when you were a kid, did your mum ever used to spray perfume in the air and sort of walk through it?
She's like that.
No... see, when you leave you still feel her on your skin.
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Like last year's Bright Star, Somersault sees the luminous Abbie Cornish steal every scene in a neatly framed, well-meaning, but vapid love story. This Heidi is no Fanny though; she's shy and desperate to feel wanted, and emotional security above romance is the order of the day. She obviously sees something similarly fragile in Sam Worthington's Joe. It's just a pity that Worthington the actor hasn't the subtlety to convince us of this hidden sensitivity; his shifts in mood come across as minor Hulk moments. He even has a Lou Ferrigno mullet.
The plotting itself is fine, but the dialogue is often flat and feels very 'written': lots of unlikely, monosyllabic, stabbing exchanges, which tend to undermine the chilly rawness of the film's photography and themes.
There's a bleak spine of truth running through Cate Shortland's debut feature, and many well-observed scenes. But ultimately it comes off as a kind of STI-free rendition of Lilya-4-Ever.
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