The teen years are a
minefield, full of real and imagined slights and tragedies, desperate
experimentation and tentative and often wrong turns to adulthood.
Somersault is an
Australian import which was named Best Picture in the Aussie equivalent of
the Oscars, but it is nothing like an American prestige film -- it is quiet
and considered and sad and in the end quite hopeful.
Abbie Cornish plays Heidi,
a young girl who has to leave home when her mother catches her in bed with
the mother's boyfriend. With no place to go, Heidi ends up in a little
lake resort looking to meet a man (apparently married, it turns out) that
she met once at a party.
Heidi has a raw jailbait
quality and she is spectacularly
insecure. She has come to realize that men are responding to her
ripening sexuality and she grasps at this appreciation hungrily, throwing
herself into poorly considered relationships with anyone who will pay any
attention to her at all.
Heidi meets a local guy (Sam Worthington) who
she imagines might become her great love, though he at first appears a bit
standoffish and he seems to be unsure about some homosexual thoughts he has
been having. Heidi also craves her first relationship with a female
and finds that possibility when she gets a job at a mini market and meets
another cashier (Hollie Andrew) -- basically Heidi is just looking for a
friend, however there is just a hint of a girl crush there as well.
Heidi throws herself deeper
and deeper into the relationships but nothing turns out as she hopes.
She grasps for meaning with more and more despair, until eventually she is
set back on the right track by a kindly hotel owner (Lynette Curran).
occasionally tough to watch with the degradations which Heidi will subject
herself to, but Cornish makes her neuroses and insecurity somewhat touching.
She is basically a good girl, and we are pulling for her to find her way.
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Posted: April 8, 2006.