Somersault

Movie Review by Susan Hodgetts

Starring: Abbie Cornish, Sam Worthington, Lynette Curran, Erik Thomson

Director: Cate Shortland

This little Oz film is a revelation. Beautifully shot like a smooth succession of watercolours, pubescent Heidi (Abbie Cornish) kisses her mum’s boyfriend and runs away in shame. Life on the run is not easy but Heidi does not see any other solution. The only wit she recognises she can survive on is the same one that proves her undoing – her attractiveness to the male sex.

She frequents bars looking for a place to stay and a man to look after her, even if it’s just for the night. Desperately, hopelessly looking for love, unfortunately, she has the wrong idea of it and seems to confuse love with sex. Eventually she wangles a place to stay at a local Siesta Inn when she befriends its owner Irene, and picks up a job in a BP Garage. She meets and has a liaison with Joe (Sam Worthington), a local labourer who has issues of his own, but life hasn’t sprung into a bunch of roses as she runs right on into trouble everywhere she turns.

This film is extremely beautifully written, shot and directed with an astounding depth of character that most films couldn’t match. Abbie Cornish’s brave central performance has enough power to resemble an Aussie Scarlett Johansson and sexual tension is introduced and built up right from the very first scene, thanks to accurate and sensitive direction. Joe’s issues are also dealt with well, as are motel owner Irene’s, but the one thing that was mysteriously missing was a mention of Heidi’s father.

The best film of the year so far and amongst some of the most beautiful cinematic photography you’re ever likely to see.

6 out of 6 stars

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