Daily News header

The Black Balloon Movie Review

By     get stories by email


Rare is the experience of big screen storytelling that can lure us into amazing new worlds, and yet feel as familiar and authentic as what exists all around us. The Black Balloon is just that kind of film, an Australian family drama that feels so real, that one might easily mistaken it for a documentary.

Written and directed by Elissa Down, The Black Balloon is the story of suburban Sydney teen Thomas (Rhys Wakefield), struggling to navigate the dreaded, turbulent waters of adolescence while dealing with an agonizing situation at home. His older teenage brother Charlie (Luke Ford) is profoundly autistic, and delights in behavior like roaming the neighborhood in his underwear giggling loudly, breaking into neighbors' homes to urinate in their toilets uninvited, or showing up at his brother's school to cause a riot and make his sibling the butt of ridicule.

And while Thomas is torn between caring for and protecting the mentally disabled Charlie, who veers between charming and scary, and pretty much smashing his face in, the bountiful love of his very pregnant mother Maggie (Toni Collette) compensates a good deal of the time for his frustration and emotional pain. Complicating matters even further is Jackie (Gemma Ward), a striking, lonely motherless coed at school who wants to both be his girlfriend and hang out with his family, no matter how dysfunctional, to compensate for the one she doesn't have.

balloon

The Black Balloon is such a gracefully conceived film, yet crafted with a raw, unflinching honesty exploring the simultaneous sorrow and joy that define severe family afflictions. Though one wonders at moments if home is the best place for Charlie, who must be kept restrained under lock and key much of the time, when not a danger to himself and potentially to his newborn sibling. The cast is simply superb, and filmmaker Elissa Down has apparently reached deep inside herself to grace this story with an uncommon and stunning emotional truth, having grown up in a home with two autistic brothers.

NeoClassics Films
Unrated
3 stars

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

The coroner quickly concludes an old lady died of natural causes, but her young neighbor suspects otherwise, much to the frustration of her fiance.
Here are three not-to-miss big budget films for this week that will bring delight and color to your hectic days ahead, starting with Chappie, and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel followed by independent and foreign films.
There were no upsets in terms of the major categories, with Julianne Moore (Still Alice) and Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) prevailing in the lead acting categories, as expected
Kung Fu Elliot is a kickboxer on a desperate quest to be star. He ropes his girlfriend in to his delusional scheme and the question is, can the relationship last longer than the dream.
We see a procession of movies about artists throughout history suffering for their art, rarely are there sightings of the women in their lives made to suffer too.
Here are the top DVD releases for this week, starting with Whiplash, and just the right time for a fond farewell to the love month of February 2015!

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

landing page ad

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site