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'Storm Boy' Movie Review: An Enchanting Tale

Storm Boy JaiCourtney FinnLittle 

A boy who raises three pelicans is at the heart of the story of STORM BOY. Newcomer Finn Little steals the show but what’s most impressive is how they got pelicans (not the most cuddly looking things) to follow the 11-year-old actor around like your average pet. STORM BOY also beautifully captures the beauty of South Australia’s coastline.

STORM BOY stars Geoffrey Rush, Jai Courtney and newcomer Finn Little as Michael. Adapted from Colin Thiele's classic Australian tale, the script by Justin Monjo interweaves Thiele’s 1959 narrative with a contemporary setting as an older Michael, played by Rush, recounts his adventures with Mr. Percival to his granddaughter.

After hunter’s kill a pelican mother on South Australia’s remote Coorong National Park, Michael raises the chicks left behind and forms a bond with one of the large birds who he names Mr. Percival. Michael lives with his father, Hideaway Tom (Courtney) who has isolated himself and his son away from society on the coastline.  

Storm Boy Jai Courtney Still 

Finn Little turns in a beautiful performance in his first feature film. His emotions come off as raw and real. You feel a deep bond with Michael and Mr. Percival. Director Shawn Seet did an amazing job making these large and often aggressive birds look cuddly (don’t try that at home) to serve the purpose of the story.

Jai Courtney and Geoffrey Rush give subtle but effective performances. Courtney’s low key performance as a grieving widower is a nice break from his tough guy roles. 

The beautiful cinematography also makes STORM BOY a worthy watch along with the themes it tackles surrounding environmental issues and conservancy.  Perhaps I'm reading too much into it but you can't help but notice the absence of a mother figure. Young Michael's mom passed as well as adult Michael's daughter, and the mother bird. Perhaps that representa mother earth and the destruction at the hands of men. 

While most Americans may not be familiar with the Australian novella, STORM BOY is an enchanting story that anyone could relate to. Be warned, you may need tissues.

STORM BOY is now playing in movie theaters.

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