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 Vessel, Odyssey that appears in the film is owned by Odyssey Expeditions which operates along the Kimberley region WA See more »
When Dylan (Ed Oxenbould) goes to chat to Patrick (David Wenham) whilst he's playing putt putt golf on the roof, in two shots you can see Dylan holding a putting iron, however in all other scenes he never picks up the iron or has it in his hand, only a paper plane. See more »
[Giving Dylan a present]
I, uh... thought you might like something to remind you of home if you're missing us.
Oh, you're still my favourite living fossil!
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Surprisingly affecting and substantial story. Works on lots of levels.
Just when you thought there were no new rite of passage stories to tell? Along comes 'Paper Planes'. This is a well made, textured tale which is deceptively simple in approach, but with much to say about grief, loss, peer pressure, ambition, ego and pride. Ostensibly this is a film about folding pieces of paper and making them fly far!!!! It is about so much more. Director and Co-writer Robert Connolly has made some serious movies in his career including Balibo, The Bank and as Producer of the award winning The Boys and Romulus my Father. This foray into filmmaking, looks on paper, pardon the pun, as a softer option, but at a closer inspection, there are as I've outlined some weightier themes.
The film and its success do rest on 2 ingredients: 1 The terrific visual effects that allow both the paper planes and the films narrative to take flight. 2 The casting and performance of Ed Oxenbould in the leading role. With acting parents and an uncle who was a child star of film and television, 12 year old Ed has racked up 3 major film roles within a 12 month period - in two Hollywood features and this Australian production. Ed has such intelligence and sensitivity on screen, and yet he never appears inauthentic or tryhard; difficult when in virtually every scene and required to act off some pretty heavy hitting screen partners: Sam Worthington, Deb Mailman and veteran Terry Norris. In some scenes Ed seemed like a boy; in others as a young man, the timing of shooting is critical when filming a story about a rite of passage into manhood and especially when the narrative carries grief and loss as well in that mix. Big things are predicted for this young actor.
There are some broadly sketched characters, and some (David Wenham's sport star and Dad to the movie's villain) are underwritten. Other reviewers have commented on Sam Worthington's moping father routine, but I thought he carried it pretty well; a point of difference to his usual strident and big character roles. At the end of the day, this is the young man's story as he finds an expression for his energies and for his own losses. It is that which lifts this movie above just being a family friendly film about aiming for the sky and hoping to win. It also points to the degree that society and our kids have lost touch with the simple things. The symbolism of paper planes for a bygone era resonated with this baby boomer.
It is the astute writing and naturalistic performance by the lead, that elevate this into something more significant about growing up, the importance of loyalty and mateship and the mantra of never giving up. I'm really pleased this movie has found an audience and will long be remembered, even with all the paper folding.
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