Movie Review: BRAN NUE DAE | Film Reviews | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
Loading...

Movie Review: BRAN NUE DAE 

Thursday, Sep 9 2010
Comments

BRAN NUE DAE Dorky and earnest, aboriginal teen Willie (Rocky McKenzie) proves deep down a dissident when he escapes Catholic boarding school in 1969 Perth, extinguishing the fire and brimstone of Father Benedictus (a hammy, German-inflected Geoffrey Rush) through cheeky song: "There's nothing I would rather be/Than to be an Aborigine/And watch you take my precious land away." Hooking up with a rascally drunken hobo and a hippie couple in a VW bus, Willie show-tunes his way home to Broome on a madcap, sunny-day road trip, eventually reconnecting with his evangelical mama and the girl who snubbed him (Australian Idol runner-up Jessica Mauboy). It's easy to understand why indigenous filmmaker Rachel Perkins' energetic adaptation of a two-decade-old stage musical has become a homegrown hit in Oz, as it nakedly attempts to be a timeless coming-of-ager about cultural identity, with humor and music used to diffuse social injustices. However, the film is too broad and tacky to engage on a universal level, or at least Stateside: The choreography is sloppy and lifeless; the outmoded blend of vintage rock, country and Broadway styles doesn't click; and the characters are such caricatures that it's no wonder the entire cast is overacting. Oh, but to Lord of the Rings cinematographer Andew Lesnie: Well done, mate. (Opens Fri., Sept. 10 at the Grove, L.A., Fri., Sept. 17 at Monica 4-Plex, Playhouse 7 Pasadena)

click to enlarge 5320302.t.jpg

Related Stories

  • iPhone 6 by Robbery 2

    Hordes of hollow-eyed Apple addicts stood in line overnight for the chance to buy the new iPhone 6. But in Torrance, some robbers decided not to wait. Two men broke into the AT&T store at the Del Amo Fashion Center mall just after 9 p.m. on Thursday, and threatened the...
  • Solar-Powered Gelato!

    If you've been wandering around Pasadena in a heat-wave haze the last month or so, you may have spotted a peculiar-looking contraption — imagine James Cameron's idea of a bike stroller — without realizing exactly what you were seeing. That people were probably gathered around the man by the snazzy...
  • Movies to See in L.A. This Week, Including The Entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    Friday, Aug. 29 What do you get when you mix a porn star, three horny teenage guys and sex ed? The makings of a hilarious high school comedy with the likes of Elisha Cuthbert, Emile Hirsch and Timothy Olyphant. The Girl Next Door celebrates its 10th anniversary with a screening...
  • 5 Great SoCal Farms For Fresh Eggs

    Eggs fresh from the farm from happy chickens just taste better than factory-produced, supermarket eggs. The yolks are a darker yellow hue and the texture is creamy and buttery. This, of course, is all contingent on the conditions in which the chickens are raised. Now there are different types of...
  • Stuff to Do This Week

    This week, take time to chill — at artist Oliver Payne's listening party, Chill Out, or at any number of the chill science-meets-art events that are part of Pasadena's AxS Festival, including this super chill fabric dome called SPHÆRÆ. Sit back and contemplate as you listen to the too-often silenced voices...

Related Content

Now Showing

  1. Wed 1
  2. Thu 2
  3. Fri 3
  4. Sat 4
  5. Sun 5
  6. Mon 6
  7. Tue 7

    Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

    Sponsored by Fandor

Box Office Report

Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, concert and dining info & more!

Movie Trailers

View all movie trailers >>

Now Trending