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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Somersault

We tried to watch Somersault, acclaimed all over Australia. It looked like it might be of interest to film buffs and to anyone who works with teenagers (or anyone who has a teenager in the family). But neither Barbara nor I could bother finishing it. We both found it uninspiring, routine, and even boring. Maybe we both missed something.

Here are quotations from three respected movie critics. First, from Stephen Holden of the New York Times:
“Somersault,” which the Australian Film Institute garlanded with 13 awards, including best film, director, actor and actress (for Ms. Cornish’s astonishing performance), is a movie about the looks on people’s faces and the disparity between the surface and the roiling chaos beneath. Cool-headed and emotionally distanced from its characters, it trains an X-ray eye on their precarious balancing of civilized and bestial impulses.
And then our own Ty Burr, from the Boston Globe:
'“Somersault,” in other words, is about that time in young people’s lives when they understand that no one can define them but themselves, a prospect that can scare them into noisy compensatory behavior. Heidi has (or thinks she has) one asset, but her needy lust keeps blowing up in her face. Why does being available turn people against her? How can sex promise such closeness only to deny it?
And from Michael Wilmington of the Chicago Tribune:
“Somersault” is a small film, done with limited resources, but it’s impressive — and so is Cornish.
Well, as I say, maybe I missed something. If you see this film and enjoy it, tell me what I missed.

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