Directed by: Rod Hardy
Running time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Release date: September 14, 2007
Genre: Drama, Family
Distributor: Warner Independent Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
This coming of age narrative is based on the classic Michael Noonan novel by the same title. A story of four orphaned teenagers named Maps (Daniel Radcliffe), Spark (Christian Byers), Misty (Lee Cormie) and Spit (James Fraser) growing up behind closed doors of a Catholic convent in outback Australia during the 1960s. As the boys watch younger kids get adopted, they begin to realize that as they get older, their turn may never come.
When the convent sends the boys to visit the seaside one summer, they finally have something to look forward to.
While at the seaside, the boys are to stay with an older couple named Mr. & Mrs. McAnsh portrayed by Jack Thompson and Kris McQuade, who run their home like a ship. The boys meet a young the couple Fearless (Sullivan Stapleton) and Teresa (Victoria Hill) unable to have children, who would make the perfect parents. The eldest of the boys, Maps, finds himself drawn to Lucy (Teresa Palmer), a beautiful teenage girl from down the coast. She teaches him the fine arts of lovemaking which 16 year olds are curious about.
Competing to be most adoptable, the rest of the boys severely test their friendships as long gestating feelings of rejection explode to surface. The bonds of friendship eventually overcome the rivalries, sealing forever the strong ties that bind these boys into manhood as they return to pay homage to that summer.
This is the first acting job for Radcliffe since his rise to fame in Harry Potter. He masterfully handles this character in fine form and proves to be a gifted actor. The supporting cast members made this spiritually coming of age movie a very sensitive and emotional journey that every audience member would enjoy.
FILM RATING B+