What is the best thing about Independent films?
They don't need to follow formulaic plots to appeal for a larger audience, the director just tell the story the way he/she thinks it should be, not that all blockbusters suck or that all indie films are good, but they just have an unique charm.
It's also interesting to note that even if the plot looks very common it never gets dated, because it will always happen, nobody has to take such drastic atitudes, but everybody passes for those moments of insecurity and confusion, and Shortland make a great job in exploring the psychological of those characters, and of course... I have to say that Abbie Cornish performance is great, very natural and convincing, making her character even more interesting, with all her sexuality, Heidi still looks very inocent and doesn't know very well what she is doing.
I think this movie is very underrated, but I understand why, even though it looks better than other recent coming-of-age drama like An Education or My Summer Of Love for example. In the end, Somersault isn't one of those movies that I'd say "OMG! YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS" but still it's worth watching.
Final Rating: 8.1
However, this film was a pleasant surprise. It is the coming-of-age story of an extremely sexually uninhibited 16 year old girl named Heidi, who comes from a disadvantaged background. After her mother catches her kissing her mother's boyfriend, Heidi runs away to a wealthy ski resort town. After one or two random sexual encounters, Heidi becomes physically involved with Joe, the son of a local farmer. Joe is emotionally distant and, unknown to Heidi, confused about his sexual orientation. The rest of the story follows Heidi's emotional journey to appreciate the difference between sex and love. It also deals with issues of class discrimination.
This is a rather good character study of a confused teenager who is between childhood and adulthood. She obviously has some very adult experiences; however the gorgeous cinematography gives the film a dream-like and almost childlike quality.
I was also impressed by the acting. Abbie Cornish, who plays Heidi, is perfect for this role so I do hope to see her in bigger and better things. Sam Worthington is a major surprise in this movie. He is often accused of being rather wooden, but he suited the role of an emotionally unavailable young man very well.
Surprisingly good; thumbs up!
Besides one insanely awesome gay moment (yes, I'm easy to please), Sam Worthington totally stole my attention in this movie. Heidi's role was prominent, but also a bit strange, and I liked it how they gave Joe (Worthington) a lot of room to play his part in the story.
Besides some strange relationship drama, this was a harsh approach into a woman's sexuality, I guess, and how wrong it can all go when one is seeking for closeness, affection or love. Not that I'm too sure about that because I never really caught the deep meaning of the story itself. I guess I need to watch this movie again some time and see if I can detect it then.
The story moved steadily, but sometimes it seemed a bit aimless - just like Heidi's existence and attempts to connect with Joe, only to be rejected at times. She seemed almost out of it sometimes, but that gave the movie a bit of an artsy flavor as well. Joe remained a big mystery to me, really. He was there, he did his thing, he wanted to be there, and then he didn't. Maybe it was fear, of confusion, or a lack of knowledge about what he wanted. In a way that was also a rather real portrayal of a man's uncertainties and fears.
Definitely worth one watch, and perhaps another as well. There's a good story there, albeit a bit confusing sometimes because it seems to drag while still moving forward. See for yourselves.
Its a great movie. Love it!
Heidi spends a great deal of time on her own, yes just like a rolling stone but she doesn't look as homeless and forlorn as she really is. She watches the leaves rustle. It's the small things that make up her life such as looking through the lens of purple snowboarding glasses or through the eyes of an autistic child who has no sense of empathy, regardless Heidi leaves everyone she comes in contact with intrigued. Abby Cornish is exceptional in the role somehow escaping the gaze of the camera entirely and becoming this innocent and relatable character who makes the best out of little constantly adding to her winsome scrapbook; masking the little girl never able to escape her childhood. Actors in there earliest stages of development is usually a pleasure to observe and Sam Worthington, now of Avatar fame, is a boyish and rough Joe who may as well be an Aussie rocker boy if his jeans were a bit skinnier. He's certainly gloomy enough but doesn't do much other than brings girls to motels, watch tv, and of course drink heavily. Needless to say, melding him with the young and beautiful Abby Cornish make an adorably sexy couple but the film gets a little distracted in exploiting this.
The casual sex between the two soon blows over as always and real life sets in outside moments before the young couple's official first date at the local Chinese restaurant. As Joe orders it becomes clear Heidi is not savvy to the food of the east and is left rather perplexed. Digressing from her confusion she provokes the vital and ever deciding relationship conversation, you know the one, the imminent "Am I your girlfriend?" question which leads harsh faced Joe to hastily finish his beer and in response the most delightful shot from the sky takes hold as Heidi downs the foreign substance of chili peppers. In that moment, the film comes to plain view and leaves the viewer in awe. So much can be explained in an angle. She of course has to throw up soon after this and Joe is by no means happy about becoming her caretaker as she goes into a coma of sorts. Even the flush of the toilet is graceful in director Cate Shortland's gaze. Impressive doesn't come close.
The use of water, the flowing fluid we all floated about before birth is one of the most beautiful aspects of the film. From baths to spaying water on windows to youths jumping around swimming pools to ice turning to water from windshields to the lake the entire film revolves around, water acts as the liquid diluting Heidi from the maturity needed to metamorphose from girl to woman.
Of course, the most substantial relationship Heidi develops in her coming of age adventure ends with the dreary, "I think its good that we met...cya." To which Mr. Avatar responds, "Bye." And smiles. The parting moments put on display Australia's glorious forest and lakes and we all know the feeling of peering out the window on the passenger side, departing from a life-altering experience that will only be a memory once the car ride is over. Just like Somersault itself, a film that will stay with me. A movie worth watching for those in a transformation phase whether they know it or not.The script leaves much up for interpretation but the cinematic devices showcase an unusual splendor.