Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger (2008)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Two girls swap schools and experience some unexpected ups and downs in this coming-of-age comedy from Australia. Thirteen-year-old Esther Blueburger (Danielle Catanzariti) is a geeky misfit attending an upscale private school for girls, where she blends with the rest of the students like oil and water. Esther's parents, Grace (Essie Davis) and Osmond (Russell Dykstra), have little concern for or understanding of her problems, and they're far more interested in her twin brother, Jacob (Christian Byers). After being humiliated at her bat mitzvah, Esther wanders off and meets Sunni (Keisha Castle-Hughes), a 17-year-old high school student with a spunky attitude and little concern about what others think of her, an outlook encouraged by her mother, Mary (Toni Collette), who makes a living as an exotic dancer. When Sunni discovers how unhappy Esther is at her school, she hatches a plan for Esther to attend her public school by pretending to be a Swedish exchange student. This goes over just fine at first, and Esther is welcomed warmly by her new classmates, but she discovers hanging out with an older crowd forces her to face some important new decisions, and she attracts the attentions of a boy who wants a more mature relationship than Esther can handle. Hey, Hey, It's Esther Blueburger was the first feature film from writer and director Cathy Randall.
PG-13 (for thematic elements, language, some sexual content and brief teen smoking)
Comedy , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

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Danielle Catanzariti
as Esther Blueburger
Essie Davis
as Grace Blueburger
Christian Byers
as Jacob Blueberger
Russell Dykstra
as Osmond Blueberger
Talia Monaghan
as Ribbon 1/Missy
Yen Yen Stender
as Ribbon 2/Lissy
Laura Kettle
as Ribbon 3/Demi
Lucy Carey
as Ribbon 4/Sienna
Tisha Adey
as Ribbon 5/Prudence
Leticia Monaghan
as Perfect/Cynthia
Bridget Walters
as Mrs. Rosen
Esme Proudman
as Mrs. Silverman
Deidre Rubenstein
as Mrs. Fleisher
Caitlin McDougall
as Miss Koolkats
Paul Blackwell
as Mr. Duke
Mark Gaweda
as Psychiatrist
Vanessa Downing
as Music Teacher
Poh Ling Yeow
as Sales Assistant
Tony Mack
as Science Teacher
Jonny Pasvolsky
as Mr. Hooper
Cassandra Jinman
as The Slug
Alex DeGaris-Boot
as Braces Boy
Lyn Pike
as Sunni's Grandmother
Patrick Frost
as Sunni's Grandfather
Joey Kennedy
as Policewoman
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Critic Reviews for Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

Hey, hey, we get it already.

Full Review… | July 2, 2010
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The sometimes strained efforts at quirky humour and the more melodramatic moments in the later scenes can feel like they belong in different movies altogether.

Full Review… | July 1, 2010
Toronto Star
Top Critic

The filmmaker's overreliance on oddball characterizations and easy-bake kookiness often derails her seemingly loftier intentions.

Full Review… | June 10, 2010
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Appearances by Toni Collette and Whale Rider's Keisha Castle-Hughes should draw a few curious parents to what is, most of the time, a quirky and quite enjoyable coming of age saga.

April 23, 2010
Boxoffice Magazine

If you're sick of Hollywood teen movies that can't see past the end of their next tube of lip gloss, this Aussie alternative is well worth checking out.

Full Review… | July 2, 2009

The film starts slowly, but gets an energy burst when Keisha Castle-Hughes' enigmatic spiky-haired Sunni with a single earring and provocative gaze appears onscreen.

Full Review… | March 19, 2008
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger

Slow to get into, and not overy realistic, but it is quite a sweet film. If you're looking for a more realistic bullied teen film, I would recommend Welcome to the Dollhouse. I just didn't buy that the "cool" girl would find this kid amusing and take her under her wing as she does. *********i just rewatched this a few years later. Actually, I picked up an ex rental for $2. What can I say, I'll be donating it back to the Sammy's shortly. Original review stands, yes, it is sweet, and the cast are good, but it's wholly unconvincing, more so the second time around, and if I never have to hear that Blueberger "poem" - not once, but twice - I will be quite happy. It really is ridiculous and makes Esther seem like she is special needs. Yet we are supposed to think the cool kids admire that. Yeah right.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Interestingly enough, a lot of people did not like this movie... and I am not sure why! It is a sneak peak in a life of a girl who is not very popular in an exclusive private school... a girl who will do anything to change that! It is awkwardly charming coming-of-age story about a "docile young dweeb who mixes with the cool kids, becomes an overnight badass, then gets seduced by the dark side of being popular". Someone wrote those words and I have to adopt them! There is no other way describing this Australian film for a whole family! It had a potential to become just one of the many cute and fuzzy teenagers flicks but the director and the screenwriter Cathy Randall skilfully turned it into a cautionary device for the realities of the 'real' life. "Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger" is definitely full with bumbling charm and it will please the teenagers audience with its giggly appeal. There were few odd scenes but mostly this invigorating movie strikes balance between comedy and drama. Main role of Danielle Catanzariti was very well done regarding the complexity of her personality in this movie, and Keisha Castle-Hughes, star of Whale Rider, fits in her role naturally. Watch it and fully enjoy it!

Panta Oz
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer


hmmm. It had its moments, I guess...hence the extra half star.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

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