6.7/10
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15 user 24 critic

Blessed (2009)

Trailer
2:08 | Trailer
Seven lost children wander the night streets while their mothers await their return home.

Director:

Ana Kokkinos
Reviews
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frances O'Connor ... Rhonda
Miranda Otto ... Bianca
Deborra-Lee Furness ... Tanya
Victoria Haralabidou ... Gina
Monica Maughan Monica Maughan ... Laurel Parker
Wayne Blair ... James Parker
William McInnes ... Peter
Tasma Walton ... Gail
Sophie Lowe ... Katrina
Anastasia Baboussouras Anastasia Baboussouras ... Trisha
Harrison Gilbertson ... Daniel
Eamon Farren ... Roo
Eva Lazzaro ... Stacey
Reef Ireland ... Orton
Melanie Beddie Melanie Beddie ... Young Laurel
Learn more

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Storyline

Seven lost children wander the night streets while their mothers await their return home.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second time Monica Maughan has played Wayne Blair's (adoptive) mother. See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Episode #7.19 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Elsie
Written by Mark McEntee and Christina Amphlett
Performed by the Divinyls
See more »

User Reviews

 
Beautiful and wonderful

I was tremendously moved by this movie from Australia, and the audience at the London Film Festival were very appreciative of director Ana Kokkinos who attended to introduce the film and for a Q&A. Blessed is based on an Australian play called "Who's afraid of the working class" which was produced in 1999. So the project to make it cinematic has taken the best part of 10 years for Ana Kokkinos. Ana's focus in the film was towards the relationships between mothers and their children (or blessings), and stripped out anything from the play that didn't fit in that agenda.

The film is simply that, an examination of the bond between mother and child, with a strong backdrop of contemporary Melbourne. I think it was a challenge to try and strip the theatricality out, but that seems to have been pulled off really well (both with the structure of the film which is very cinematic and the focus on the close-up of the human face, which is a cornerstone of cinema). There are around five different stories here, which have some degree of connectivity, which avoids the choppiness you can get in a typical portmanteau film. Mostly we are seeing children on the streets of Melbourne, instead of in school, in some degree of confrontation or peril. There is a structure so that you can see the same story twice, once from the children's side and once from the adult's side.

I think the cast is cracking. Frances O'Connor as Rhonda if electric in this movie, like a force of nature, a flaming creature. She does some terrible things, they are sins of omission more than anything else (though they are still heinous). There is a scene in this movie where heavily pregnant Rhonda dances in a nightclub after a huge incident, whilst her social worker looks on in awe and disbelief. That's the attitude of the audience mirrored. Rhonda's alive with sexuality and agony throughout the whole movie, so apart from the way most people live in their ultra-sanitised lives where they've tried to remove everything animal. The social worker is a proxy for the middle class audience member, who is university educated and has erased their pagan side.

The level of confrontation in the movie is astonishing to anyone (like myself) who lives in a confrontation-phobic milieu. A police detective in a darkened interview room, full of frustration and rage, tells two truant girls how miserable they are and stupid, and how they've got no talent going for them and that they know nothing, and will never amount to anything.

Cezary Skubiszewik music is absolutely haunting, it's played over the opening scenes where we see all the children asleep in their beds. You know right then that you're in for a very special movie. It's a raging torrent of love and hatred and pure emotion that leaves you bewildered and touched by the dilemmas and hideous positions that the characters find themselves in.

I don't have any trouble in saying that this is the finest film I saw in a programme of at least 25 films, including the eventual winner of the festival, Jacques Audiard's Un prophète.


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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 September 2009 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Elveszett bárányok See more »

Filming Locations:

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$237,752
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
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