The Black Balloon was a revelation. It's small Australian indie film that borrows from What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and has amazing performances from Toni Collette, Rhys Wakefield and Luke Ford.
The film follows Thomas (played by Wakefield) as he adjusts to moving to a new town while coping with a disabled brother who suffers from autism and ADHD. His Mother is pregnant, and Thomas must help out with his brother's care when she is put on bed rest. On top of all this, he is struggling his way through first love with Jackie (Gemma Ward).
The Black Balloon is funny, heartbreaking, intelligent and absorbing. Just like Gilbert Grape, Thomas struggles with the anger he feels toward his brother and himself for feeling such a way. I was completely absorbed with their world and loved the quirky nineties nostalgia the film has.
Toni Collette is outstanding in everything she does, and this is no exception. I was very surprised by Rhys Wakefield, Home and Away never showed his potential as a good actor and I'm really excited to see how he develops. Luke Ward is so compelling as the autistic Charlie that it's hard to believe that he's acting.