Miramax Films | Release Date: September 25, 2009
5.6
USER SCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 23 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
12
Mixed:
5
Negative:
6
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8
MarcoOct 3, 2009
Beautiful cinematography, engaging story, and fine acting. I found it not at all "weepy" or maudlin. On the contrary, the narrative was entirely plausible and admirably understated.
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9
AllanOct 8, 2009
Mostly both moving and fun. The movie makes clear that Owen's character doesn't get it all right: he's a bit of a kid himself. But his "just say yes" is a good antidote to the overprotective, overscheduled childhood that the Mostly both moving and fun. The movie makes clear that Owen's character doesn't get it all right: he's a bit of a kid himself. But his "just say yes" is a good antidote to the overprotective, overscheduled childhood that the movie's American critics espouse. (I raised 4 boys. I was also firmly told "no" when I wanted to put playground equipment outside some apartments I own.) The kid on the hood is a dumb thing to do; but the bathtub superhero is great, especially watching Owen at first think "I can't allow that!" and then "but why not?" The movie raises this as an issue to think about; and the critics seem unable to do so. Expand
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7
KarinaMNov 4, 2009
Beautifully filmed, perfectly acted, well scripted. I see what some reviewers mean about the stock scenes and the ghost of Joe's wife, but the film was really about the relationships among the various males, which were portrayed with Beautifully filmed, perfectly acted, well scripted. I see what some reviewers mean about the stock scenes and the ghost of Joe's wife, but the film was really about the relationships among the various males, which were portrayed with sensitivity and reality. I also liked it that Joe didn't end up in bed with the other 'female interest'. Expand
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1
JulieDNov 4, 2009
Boring - felt like slapping the child - thought there was something wrong with all of them. Yet another failure for Australia in making movies.
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9
KerrynSNov 14, 2009
Fantastic, thought provoking, real story, with breathtaking scenery.
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5
jimmytancrediMay 29, 2011
A movie without much expectations which finished astonishing me. The movie touches us, especially if we fit into one side of the story. I already got will of seeing Clive Owen in a drama, had been some time and finally it was the time forA movie without much expectations which finished astonishing me. The movie touches us, especially if we fit into one side of the story. I already got will of seeing Clive Owen in a drama, had been some time and finally it was the time for another one. The guy could hold the movie practically by oneself, being completed by Artie who brings the funniest part, and by Harry, who brings the most dramatic, which it swings with the dramatic piece of Joe. A cuddly movie that shows the face of a painful loss and obstacles to tour until the arrival of a deserved victory. Expand
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5
NeoniteJun 15, 2011
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was really looking forward to this movie. I thought it would be a refreshingly intelligent, progressive and emotionally real depiction of single fatherhood. It was almost. I think unfortunately the Australian film industry gets in the way of itself in terms of a genuine, un-cliched human story. The kind of human realism and emotional depth required to really engage the viewer tend to be outshone by the persistent pandering to our own cliched ideals about men, women and the picturesque landscapes we inhabit. I guess the AF industry isn't big or mature enough yet to include those self-obsessed 'Aussie culture' films - with a whole bunch of other movies that transcend them emotionally and conceptually, and really speak to people as a whole [including Australians]. Although this movie is really quite beautifully produced and includes an evocative soundtrack that communicates much of the emotion, the great moments are still weighed down by almost embarrassing unsophistication in terms of male-female relationships and confused gender hostility typically found in Australian movies. Apparently we don't understand love, we don't like real human connections, in fact we don't like men and women appearing to get along or relate whatsoever. We like them to be angry aliens on each other's planet. Otherwise it interfers with our entrenched lazy ideals about who we are and who we are not, that save us from any real emotional development that might one day be reflected in our films and put us on par with other countries. The movie starts with a gratingly ridiculous and base couple banter, followed by a very moving and well edited treatment of death in a family, and yet the movie innapropriately raps up with a faintly victorious declaration that the three 'boys' have managed to succeed in living without women, including their recently dead one. Although based on a memoir, this is still a story snapped up wittingly or otherwise for being about a loveable incompetent male and the irritating competent females who orbit around him, and they all don't get each other and they all fight a lot and yet utterly accept it as their natural lot in life. Yaaaawn. And in true urban spirit, they'll all live self-righteously ever after. Expand
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7
smiyamotJan 7, 2016
A nicely done movie about a hard subject, parenting a child with mental problems. Of course, they live out in the country so the kid "can" run wild. If they lived in the city, it wouldn't be possible. Just to make it harder, he has aA nicely done movie about a hard subject, parenting a child with mental problems. Of course, they live out in the country so the kid "can" run wild. If they lived in the city, it wouldn't be possible. Just to make it harder, he has a teenage son by a previous marriage who wants to come live with him. Wow, the worst of both worlds. How the three of them work it out is what makes the movie enjoyable to watch. Expand
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7
KenRFeb 22, 2021
English performer Clive Owen does quite well in the role of British sportswriter Joe Warr. The story, written by Simon Carr (ex speechwriter for New Zealand’s Prime Minister in the 90s) is loosely based on his own life experiences and adaptedEnglish performer Clive Owen does quite well in the role of British sportswriter Joe Warr. The story, written by Simon Carr (ex speechwriter for New Zealand’s Prime Minister in the 90s) is loosely based on his own life experiences and adapted for the screen by Allen Cubitt. Perhaps the decision to open the picture with a scene featuring Owen, rather recklessly driving along a crowded beach, at speed, with his young son balanced on the Bonnet – could well be seen as a failure by all concerned at this point of the picture. Being set between the picturesque South Australian coastline and England - it outlines the difficulty ‘Joe’ has bringing up his two young sons after the death of his young, second wife. Then come the complications of juggling his job and raising young boys in an isolated country town, offering up many demanding challenges including schooling, connecting with neighbours (Emma Booth truly shines in this situation) and the expectations of controlled parenting, etc. Also highlighted, is the irresponsible destructiveness of teenage party gate-crashers and the aftermath on the family.

The lavish on-location Cinematography of Aussie Greig Fraser (Lion ’16) adds depth and richness, making it easy to look at. Director Scott Hicks tends to keep the story and his characters reasonably on target (even when certain situations seem somewhat far-fetched) Ex Dire Straits guitarist; Hal Lindes supplies the easy-going, gentle score. All performances are well done.
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