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Australia 2000
Directed by
Kate Woods
103 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Looking For Alibrandi

Melina Marchetta, who adapted the script from her best-selling novel, no doubt based this coming-of-age story of a young Italian girl growing up in Sydney on her own experience.

Whether or not it applies to the novel, the film tends to sit uneasily between the light, which it does well, and the dark, which it does not, being a little too glib when handling life’s rockier aspects (a jam-packed year in 99 minutes is just too quick) . Its well-observed characters are its strength and they are effectively portrayed by the cast (with the exception of Anthony LaPaglia, who never seems comfortable in his role, which, admittedly, is not well-integrated into proceedings). Elena Cotta, Greta Scacchi and Pia Miranda are all excellent in what is essentially the story of 3 generations of Italo-Australian women. Quite often one reads of a film that it lacks “characters to care about”. This is not one such film.




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