A film to restore one's faith in films about the transition from adolescence to adulthood. It's 1962 in the Australian backwater town where callow teenager Danny (Taylor) has grown up with the slightly older Freya (Carmen), an orphan child with a murky past who feels like an outsider. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is showing at the Astor, The Shadows strum 'Apache' on the radio, and car-stealing delinquent Trevor (Mendelsohn) fancies himself as the local rebel without a cause. Using telepathy, 'force fields', and hypnosis, Danny tries to win Freya's love, but the bad boy hunk aims lower and scores... So sure is writer/director Duigan's feel for the characters, the period, and the prevailing moral climate, that the faintly supernatural elements are effortlessly integrated: as the mystery surrounding the local 'haunted house' unfolds, there is an uncanny sense of a scandalous episode in the community's history repeating itself. A lovingly crafted and deeply affecting film, this might be likened, in terms of both quality and perception, to Rob Reiner's excellent Stand By Me.
Cast and crew