Celia (Celia: Child of Terror) (1989)
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Audience Reviews for Celia (Celia: Child of Terror)
Fuck me, this was an intense, brilliant and perceptive film about childhood, and the end of childhood. Rebecca Smart's performance as the titular Celia is one of the finest child performances I have ever seen; natural, effortless. Set brilliantly in 50's Australia, with fear of communism at its peak, Celia gets conflicting information from adults around her, her parents telling her she will understand when she is older. Her Grandma, dead at the beginning of the film, was presumably more sensible in her approach and her absence is felt throughout. Celia's parents themselves (especially the father) are mostly clueless, cruel, ignorant, arrogant - so instead she finds direction from her new neighbour's - finally finding a solid mother figure and children she can play with (Celia is the victim of some horrific bullying elsewhere). Celia is a heartbreaking but funny and above all TRUTHFUL film that sits alongside the likes of Stand By Me and Heavenly Creatures (but unlike the former, doesn't ever break into nostalgia or sentimentality - it's a harsh film). Worth seeking out (the UK DVD is widely available and has an excellent contextualising essay in the booklet). If you don't bawl your eyes out then I do not want to know you.
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