33 Postcards (2013)
For ten years, Chinese orphan Mei Mei (Zhu Lin) dreams of meeting her Australian sponsor - Dean Randall (Guy Pearce) - and his 'perfect family'. When her orphanage travels to Australia to attend the Australian Choir Festival, Mei Mei takes the opportunity to look him up. What she finds, however, is far from the idyllic life he depicted in his postcards. Initially mismatched and disconnected, the two begin a journey in search of belonging, family, redemption, love and acceptance. (c) Gravitas
as Dean Randall
as Miss Chen
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Critic Reviews for 33 Postcards
Great Aussie crime thriller droops at the end but pulls through thanks to Guy Pearce.
The "oh-so-innocent waif and big old baddie" odd-couple formula dates back to D.W. Griffith, but this muddled effort does nothing to merit its questionable revival.
Innocence meets experience, unconvincingly, in the strained redemption drama "33 Postcards."
Were it not for the staccato bursts of violence, this Chinese-Australian co-production about how an adorable orphan brings love into the life of a hardened convict would feel like a film from Hayley Mills' heyday.
The film has a few good story turns up its sleeve, but prepare yourself for heavy melodrama in the third act.
It's all in the name of heartstring tugging, and the film, directed by Pauline Chan ("Little White Lies"), does that pretty well.
Sweet to the point of getting a sugar rush. Underwritten and under-directed in style and realization, it has all the substance of a confection.
There's no explaining the presence of Guy Pearce in Pauline Chan's sappy, atonal family drama. But it's easy enough to understand why he looks so uncomfortable throughout.
A clunky hybrid-half feel-good weepie, half preposterous thriller-that functions primarily as an elaborate travel brochure ...
Touching story about how the spiritual practice of enthusiasm works wonders in the life of a man in prison.
Just when you think it can't get any more sentimental or tack on any more plot detours, the film attempts a clumsy cultural détente as the Chinese children's choir sings "Waltzing Matilda."
The script's programmatic feel-goodery smooths out everything strange and noteworthy about Dean and Mei Mei's relationship into an unmemorable and unconvincing blandness.
33 Postcards is merely the latest in a long line of films to throw in needless crime subplots as a way of shortcutting things emotionally.
Orphan Mei Mei discovers dubious desired dad Guy Pearce is not exactly what he seems. Nor is this movie, taking a surprising turn away from the conventional, as it embraces collective values over the usual quest and flight into Western individualism.
Pauline Chan's film is a jumbled mixture of redemptive uplift and genre hijinks.
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