49 user 39 critic

Breath (2017)

TV-MA | | Drama, Romance, Sport | 3 May 2018 (Australia)
2:04 | Trailer
After developing an interest in surfing, a teenage boy and his friend forge an unlikely friendship with an older surfer.


Simon Baker


Gerard Lee (adapted screenplay), Simon Baker (adapted screenplay) | 2 more credits »
8 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Samson Coulter Samson Coulter ... Pikelet
Ben Spence Ben Spence ... Loonie
Simon Baker ... Sando
Elizabeth Debicki ... Eva
Richard Roxburgh ... Mr. Pike
Rachael Blake ... Mrs. Pike
Miranda Frangou Miranda Frangou ... Queenie
Jacek Koman ... Karl Loon
Brock Fitzgerald Brock Fitzgerald ... Slipper
Jed Mitchell Jed Mitchell ... Ewan
Megan Smart ... Karen
Austin Taylor Austin Taylor ... Sam
Zev Eleftheriou Zev Eleftheriou ... Bus Driver
Geoff Coughlan Geoff Coughlan ... Farmer
Ron Hohol Ron Hohol ... Truck Driver


Based on Tim Winton's award-winning and international bestselling novel set in mid-70s coastal Australia. Two teenage boys, hungry for discovery, form an unlikely friendship with a mysterious older adventurer who pushes them to take risks that will have a lasting and profound impact on their lives. Written by See PIctures and Gran Via Productions

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance | Sport


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Won two and was nominated for six AACTA Awards at the 8th Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. It won Best Supporting Actor for Simon Baker and Best Sound. It was nominated for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress for Elizabeth Debicki, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing. See more »

User Reviews

a beautiful looking coming of age film full of banalities
17 May 2018 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

Award-winning novels do not always lead to award-winning films. As we know, the novel's unbounded imaginative space reigns free while the movie is constrained within sight and sound. The coming-of-age film Breath (2017)is beautiful to look at, but its clichéd characters and banal dialogue make it a rather ordinary translation of Tim Winton's widely acclaimed book.

The story is framed as a middle-age nostalgic flashback to growing up in a logging village on the spectacular West Australian coastline. We follow through the eyes of a young teenager called Pikelet (Samson Coulter) who, with his aptly-named best friend Loonie (Ben Spence), are inducted into the surfing culture of the 1970s. Their dreams of conquering big waves are made real when they are befriended by a 40-something former top surfer and off-the-grid hippy called Sando (Simon Baker). He becomes their mentor, inspiring them with zen-like dogma about the mastery of one's inner fears and the purism of doing something as pointlessly elegant as riding a dangerously large wave. Meanwhile, Sando's surly girlfriend Eva (Elizabeth Debicki) limps around in the background with a chronic injury from top-tier competitive skiing. She is cool towards the teenagers until Sando and Loonie take off to Indonesia to chase even bigger waves, leaving young Pikelet to herself.

Sexual initiation is not always recalled through misty lens. Eva has dangerously weird taste in bed and no qualms about the boy's lack of maturity. While the camera spends a lot of time watching them together it is never close enough to earn an 18+ rating. Pikelet finds himself between two worlds: innocent school friends on one hand, and a worldly woman who uses him as a toy on the other. It is not so different to the space between mastering a wave for fun and chasing one to prove you are not scared.

The enduring high point of Breath is its cinematography. Lush rainforests, ruggedly rocky coastlines, and white-crested rollers are captured with almost lyrical beauty. The cameras spend a lot of time on top of and under the water, and some of the wave shots can make you gasp. However,the characters are one-dimensional, the dialogue often inauthentically mystical, and there is not a trace of narrative tension. Eva remains a shadowy person and her past sporting career is barely mentioned. Women's achievements don't count for much in a man's world, but the film labours at length but simplistically over what it takes to be a man. A particularly insipid example is early in the film the two teenagers get around on under-sized kid's BMX bicycles, but the day after Pikelet's sexual initiation he suddenly appears on a full-size bike. Really; is that all it takes?

If Breathhas serious messages about growing up with worthwhile values, they only hang in limbo, unformed and unexplored. No doubt there will be different responses from those who read the book, those who fondly remember the 1970s, and those for whom sex and surfing is still a pathway to adulthood. If it achieves anything, it highlights how much more complex growing up is today.

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Release Date:

3 May 2018 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Breath See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,258, 3 June 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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