This time around, our Will Hunting is not a brilliant young man but a thoughtful young woman. Heidi (Abbie Cornish), sixteen and aimless, lives a restless life drizzled in meaningless sex and little responsibility - to her, a job at a gas station is a career, not a gateway to higher education. Though considerate and intelligent, she is reckless, her dangerous spontaneity coming to a head one morning when she is caught kissing her mother's boyfriend (by her mother, no less).
With their relationship shattered, she heads to an unremarkable town to start life anew, calling a crappy apartment home, calling quick shifts at a nearby minute mart a way to bring home the bacon. Heidi exploits her promiscuousness as a way to take a break from her harsh reality, but she is caught off-guard when she meets Joe (Sam Worthington), a brooding young farmer. She is instantaneously attracted, hopeful that they can begin a relationship. But Joe is having problems of his own, the most prominent being his sexuality. The two's blossoming courtship can only end in disaster, and they both know it - yet with their mirroring inner conflicts, their flaws have the potential to heal.
"Somersault" famously swept the Australian Film Institute Awards back in 2004, winning every trophy it was nominated for, and with its refreshing honesty and nuance, such a fact passes by without much skepticism. It's one of the most memorable coming-of-age films ever made, as few are so accepting that not every person's growing up has to be a likable tale meant to tickle one's bouts of nostalgia. Maybe "Sixteen Candles" is a more diverting watch, but sometimes, a film as bullshitless as "Somersault" is needed, direct and emotionally wrenching enough to speak on a higher level than pure escapism. Cornish and Worthington make for an unconventional couple that authentically feels like kids lost in the real world rather than attractive twenty-somethings playing kids lost in the real world. Shortland passionately paints on a gritty canvas.
But "Somersault"'s biggest asset is Cornish, who has since gone on to appear in major Hollywood films ("Limitless", "RoboCop"). Only 20 during its conception, she carries a rare magnetism usually found in European art-house staples (a la Isild Le Besco, Brigitte Bardot) - her participating in even the simplest of an activity is enthralling, her face a map of expression impossible to decipher. Heidi is a girl without an ounce of control in her life; Cornish makes the unpredictability thrilling. It's a gift that "Somersault" doesn't have a problem turning the ordinary into something extraordinary either.
abbie cornish is amazing
very well shot
ok idea but slow and clumsy.
2 Jake Sullys.