DVD Somersault [DVD]  [English] [Region 1] (DVD 44646),
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Somersault [DVD]  [English] [Region 1]
Region 1 USA/CA (
Australian directors have always made fascinating and unique films in the coming-of-age genre, from Bruce Beresford's PUBERTY BLUES (1981) to John Duigan's FLIRTING (1991). Now, with SOMERSAULT, first-time director Cate Shortland has managed to make this well-trodden genre seem fresh once again, and in the process, introduced the world to Abbie Cornish, an actress of uncommon presence. Cornish is 16-year-old Heidi, who lives with her single mother, Nicole. After her mother walks in on Heidi kissing Nicole's boyfriend, the sexually precocious teen flees her troubled home for the Aussie ski town of Jindabyne, where young people drink to excess every night and deal with the ramifications of their intoxicated couplings the morning after. She manages to find a job at a local filling station, and lodging at a hotel run by motherly Irene (Lynette Curran)--but when she falls for wealthy farmhand Joe (Sam Worthington), she finds that her budding feminine wiles are no match for class differences, and will only create pain and confusion for her once again.
Shortland paints Heidi's often painful journey in a palette of beautiful, melancholic blues, which are the perfect match for the spare, acoustic/electronic score by the Australian band Decoder Ring. SOMERSAULT's meditative pace is an effective choice for making us understand Heidi's loneliness. As Heidi, Abbie Cornish (who was 21 at the time of production and resembles a combination of Nicole Kidman and Maria Bello) perfectly captures the whirlwind of confusion and sexuality that Heidi hasn't yet learned to wield properly. Despite her poor choices, we are on her side--and it hurts to see her continuous missteps. Even though she is in a vacation spot, Heidi stays on the outside looking in--watching everyone else have the fun.
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 10029
Abbie Cornish, Sam Worthington, Lynette Curran, Olivia Pigeot, Hollie Andrew, Erik Thomson, Nathaniel Dean
"Ms. Cornish, who suggests a teenage Naomi Watts, evokes the full spectrum, from vulnerable child to self-assured young woman, of Heidi's personality."
New York Times
"Dreamy and creepy, tender and terrifying, SOMERSAULT is a frank and visceral film that at the same time exudes an unexpected innocence."
Los Angeles Times
"Cornish is a marvel, exuding a reckless hunger and prowling with a sexuality of potent directness." -- Grade: B
Ms. Cornish gives a performance that begins impressively, and gets even better as it goes along.
Wall Street Journal
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