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Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Coming of Age Story - with a Twist, 6 Feb. 2009
This review is from: The Black Balloon [DVD] (DVD)
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`The Black Balloon' is the coming of age story of a boy in his mid-teens named Thomas Mollison who moves into a new home (and school) in Melbourne with his family. His brother Charlie is autistic (a phenomenal performance by Luke Ford) and Thomas finds himself frustrated and annoyed at some of his antics, even though he loves him really. Charlie gets in the way of Thomas's relationship with a girl from school called Jackie (played by the luminescent Gemma Ward) and eventually causes Thomas to explode with anger.

Charlie is not a high-functioning austistic person like Dustin Hoffman's Raymond in `Rain Man'. I've met several boys like this in my life (my sister used to attend a special school), and I feel qualified to say that it is literally impossible to tell Luke Ford is acting as his portrayal is so realistic. In fact all of the performances are excellent, and Toni Collette is her usual dependable self.

You've got to hand it to the Aussies for delivering a down to earth depiction of life with an autistic sibling. It's never mawkish or unnecessarily sentimental; not even when Thomas's dad explains the reason why they were given Charlie was because God decided they were a strong enough family to cope with him. In a Hollywood film this would have been difficult to listen to without vomiting all over the dog, but it seems a right and proper sentiment in this movie.

Watch the film until the very end - it features one of the more bizarre credits I've ever seen for a `Breast feeding double'!

Recommended.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Jun 2010 20:06:59 BDT
Eileen Shaw says:
Loved this film. But I missed the credit for breast-feeding!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2010 09:27:00 BDT
Yes, I enjoyed it immensely and the fact that it's an Australian movie means it's not awash with the sacharine excesses of a Hollywood (or indeed American) production.
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Location: Tyne & Wear, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,676