Saturday, January 24, 2015

Movie Review ... Paper Planes


paper planes posterThe key to good children’s movies is keeping things simple. That doesn’t mean talking down to adolescents but crafting an engaging narrative within a basic premise.  ‘Paper Planes’ does this perfectly.  Directed by Robert Connolly, this Australian movie has much heart and depth.  With nicely-drawn characters imparting the messages ‘Paper Planes’ offers, this flight of fancy is a solid work suitable for all ages.

Dylan (Ed Oxenbould), a young boy, is still grieving the death of his mother.  Along with his father Jack (Sam Worthington), Dylan tries to find a way to cope.  When his school-teacher challenges the class to a paper plane flying contest, his interest is piqued.  Enjoying the experience and becoming an expert, Dylan’s aptitude is noted.  Encouraged by friends and teachers, he enters an international paper plane competition.  Dylan’s new focus potentially helps in refreshing his life and that of his father.

‘Paper Planes’ enchants without being sentimentally sweet.  It isn’t afraid in having rough edges with themes of grief, loneliness and moving on effectively portrayed.  It also examines what it means to be a winner with the nobility of defeat something not to shy away from.  Dylan’s interaction with his emotionally crippled father forms a solid foundation for the overall whimsical tale. 

Aided by excellent performances and dazzlingly shot locations, ‘Paper Planes’ stands out.  Whilst some clichés creep in – Dylan’s typically groovy Grandfather and ‘inspirational’ music score – its noble intentions outweigh any minuses.  Connolly has a good sense of story scale ensuring the balance of humour and pathos is well realised. 

A very fine Australian production, ‘Paper Planes’ fully realises its potential.  Proud of its low-tech feel, it is a charming movie about a boy’s quest to reach previously unobtainable heights.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.

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