The Black Balloon (2008)
Critic Consensus: A tender and witty portrayal of a family coping with autism, The Black Balloon is heartfelt without being schmaltzy or moralizing.
When Thomas and his family move to a new home and he has to start at a new school, all he wants is to fit in. When his pregnant mother has to take things easy, his father Simon puts him in charge of his autistic older brother Charlie. Thomas, with the help of his new girlfriend Jackie, faces his biggest challenge yet. Charlie's unusual antics take Thomas on an emotional journey that causes his pent-up frustrations about his brother to pour out - in a story that is funny, confronting, and ultimately heart-warming. "The Black Balloon" is a story about fitting in, discovering love and accepting your family. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Black Balloon
Thomas and Jackie's friendship, blossoming into a chaste romance, is the dramatic engine that powers The Black Balloon, but it's far from the most important relationship in the film.
The film's vision is neither a grim wallow nor falsely cheerful. It's compassionate but unblinking, and in the end we can't help but admire the genuine strength of how its characters accept their special challenge.
At its sharpest Elissa Down's feature directorial debut is guided by intense, rough-edged emotional swings that feel authentically alive, even when the script settles for tidiness.
The Black Balloon establishes this family with a delicate mixture of tenderness and pain.
There are wrenching scenes that are brutally stark, yet there remains a steady sense of calm that is touching and sensitive without ever turning sentimental.
Audience Reviews for The Black Balloon
An Australian household has a full plate and then some with their eldest, who is autistic, and how they live their lives in the face of staunch adversity is the subject of this realistic portrayal of the old Biblical maxim that faith w/o works is dead. Nothing overtly cinematic, but a fine subtle touch by the director here instead. Collette does stand out as the Mom whose presence you feel guiding the family even when offscreen.
Another decent Australian film. Amazing!
Follows the life of a 15 year old boy and his family, including his autistic brother. I have to admit, I am watching this movie thinking, I couldn't do it! As well as the constant screaming and running around, there is the shit smearing (ugh!).
This is actually quite a sweet little movie and I was impressed with Gemma Ward as an actress. The 90's setting also gives it that something extra. Worth a look!
Interesting, and depressing, but in no way "compelling" as the "recent reviews" would indicate. A decent film, but not great. The two boys were truly outstanding in their roles, however the scene of the musical at the autistic school was a real stretch. Some very funny laugh out loud scenes, but not enough everything else to make me really like this movie.
The Black Balloon Quotes
|Maggie:||He's your brother!|
|Thomas Mollison:||He's a freak!|
|Maggie:||[slaps Thomas in the face] Your brother will never be able to do the things you will. He'll never go to work or start a family, so we have to look after him. He's staying with us forever.|
|Thomas Mollison:||You've just pissed all over my leg, haven't you?|
|Thomas Mollison:||Well, maybe if you were to stop signing, he might start talking.|
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