7.3/10
8,228
39 user 43 critic

The Black Balloon (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 6 March 2008 (Australia)
Trailer
2:06 | Trailer
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:

Elissa Down

Writers:

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

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rhys Wakefield ... Thomas Mollison
Luke Ford ... Charlie Mollison
Toni Collette ... Maggie Mollison
Erik Thomson ... Simon Mollison
Gemma Ward ... Jackie Masters
Sarah Woods ... Woman Next Door
Sam Fraser ... Kid Next Door
Makirum Fahey-Leigh Makirum Fahey-Leigh ... Mate of Kid Next Door
Oliver Brookes Oliver Brookes ... Other Mate of Kid Next Door
Jan Ringrose Jan Ringrose ... Neighbour
Bradley Orford Bradley Orford ... Neighbour
Zelie Bullen Zelie Bullen ... Mother in Van
Anthony Phelan ... Mr. Masters
Deborah Piper Deborah Piper ... Janet - Social Worker
Henry Nixon ... Trevor - Social Worker
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Storyline

Thomas is turning 16. His Dad is in the army and they've just moved to a town in New South Wales; his mum 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 2008 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

A fekete léggömb See more »

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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's director/co-writer, Elissa Down, based the story and screenplay on her own experiences growing up in an army family with two brothers on the autism spectrum. See more »

Quotes

Maggie Mollison: Your brother will never be able to do the things you can Thomas, He will live with us for the rest of his life.
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Crazy Credits

In the same typeface, style and layout as all the credits that come before it (like, for instance "Costume Designer" on one line with "Claire Granville" just below it), the last credit in the opening sequence has "Title" on one line with "The Black Balloon" just below it. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Episode #6.1 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Fall At Your Feet
Written by Neil Finn (as N. Finn)
Performed by Glenn Richards
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Beautifully Splendid
11 March 2008 | by freelancingSee all my reviews

Much attention has risen from the production of this film by debut feature film director Elissa Down. With a notable essemble which include the likes of supermodel Gemma Ward, and prowess-much Toni Collette, a truly heart-warming and melodramatic storyline was intrinsic.

Her portrayal of the autistic Charlie is not only imaginatively accurate but catches your sympathy and imbeds itself into your very own psyche, making it more harder to forget even after the film. Family ties are brilliant!!! Down accentuates this through her extremely generous and proficient use of the risky mis-en-scene and verisimilitudal lighting.

It is a film of sheer simplicity. Although i found the intense connection between the two brothers, Charlie and Thomas, quite realistic, many have argues that Down's character analysis is quite mediocre. Seeing as it is her first movie as suppose to her previous short films, the film can be classified under the 'Beginner's' guide to film-making.

Toni Collette is a professional actress like always, while Gemma Wark seem s bit too exotic of a flower for this type of environment. The Australian actors seem monotonous, and the script can be seen as flawed in the way the stroyline never tends to fluctuate.

I give it a 7/10. It is a beautifully humble film but it just lacks the thrilling essentials. Better off next time, Elissa!


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