August 26th, 2016       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

The Guardian has an exciting first review on “Jasper Jones”. Craig Silvey’s 2009 coming-of-age novel has enjoyed a recent renaissance, with Kate Mulvany’s stage adaptation seeing three separate productions in as many years: at Perth’s Barking Gecko in 2014; at Sydney’s Belvoir Theatre earlier this year; now at Melbourne Theatre Company, where it runs until 1 September. But it was a feature film adaptation that premiered to an enthusiastic home field audience on Wednesday night at the opening of Western Australian film festival CinefestOz, in Busselton. Set in the fictional town of Corrigan, the film, directed by Rachel Perkins – who previously made Bran Nue Dae – was shot in the WA town of Pemberton with funds from ScreenWest, and is projected for release in early 2017. With its child’s eye view of small town racial prejudice, publicity for Silvey’s book was quick to label it the Australian To Kill a Mockingbird – but it is hat-tips to Harper Lee’s friend Truman Capote that dominate the film’s opening stretch. Moved to investigate the death of a local girl, 13-year-old protagonist Charlie Bucktin (Levi Miller) picks up In Cold Blood at the library, and minutes later is slipped a copy of Breakfast at Tiffany’s – mysterious note inside – by local Holly Golightly-in-waiting Eliza Wishart (Angourie Rice), the sister of the dead girl.

But it’s Toni Collette, impossibly vivacious as always, who registers most strongly. As Charlie’s mother – bee-hived, eye-shadowed, and straining at the bonds of a dissatisfying marriage – she switches from tenderness to frustration on a dime. One charming scene has her transforming a mini-tantrum in the kitchen into an opportunity to twist and bop to the radio. Shimmying around in a mustard dress, she almost dances away with the film.




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