A Deep-Dive Into Why Blueback Might Be the Aussie Film of the Summer

From December until Feb, there are a lot of contenders for the film of the summer. For instance, there’s The Super Mario Bros Movie, a Shazam sequel, and even another Avatar flick.

However, between all of these Goliath-sized movies, there’s a David, an underdog. It’s an Aussie film called Blueback, and the cast is so stoked for it to drop. 

As Mia Wasikowska, who plays Abby in the movie, told The Latch, “It’s a family film. I feel like everybody can enjoy it. I’m really proud of it, so I hope people get out there and see it.”

Blueback is based on the iconic Tim Winton book of the same name. Its story kicks off with Abby being forced to put her life on the Great Barrier Reef on hold and return to her hometown of Longboat Bay. 

Unfortunately, Abby’s mum is gravely ill and refuses to talk to anyone. With nowhere to escape, Abby must reflect on the complicated relationship that she has with her mum and try to encourage her to speak again. 

“It was a great character to play,” said Wasikowska.

However, Wasikowska isn’t the only star of the film. Eric Bana’s also here, vibing it up as Macka, a once parental figure to Abby. Bana described Macka as a “mischievous uncle” and “a bit of mystery.”

As Bana said, “We’re not really quite sure who he is or what he’s about or where he’s come from.” 

Related: How to Watch the 2023 Oscar Contenders in Australia

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The other star of the film is Robert Connolly’s directing skills. His previous works include the likes of Paper Planes and The Dry. However, bringing Tim Winton’s Blueback to the big screen was a passion project of Connolly’s for quite some time. 

“I first read Blueback when it was published in 1997, and I loved it immediately. It’s an incredible fable: Heartbreaking, funny, and emotional,” said Connolly. 

One of the most impressive aspects of Connolly’s style is the underwater shots. That’s right, Blueback features plenty of folks scuba diving around, and all of it’s practical. This film even features a gorgeous yet realistic grouper fish puppet. 

“There are so many films now that are just wall-to-wall CGI effects,” said Connolly. “I’m an old-fashioned filmmaker. I like shooting in the ocean. I like puppetry from the tradition of ET and Yoda and Jaws.”

So, with all of this in mind, is Blueback the film of the summer? Well, Bana certainly thinks so. 

Bana said, “I think it’s a perfect film for summer, full stop. I hope Australians feel really proud of it. They should. I hope they spread the word. We’re gonna need a lot of word of mouth on this film. I hope they take it as their own.”

Blueback comes into cinemas on January 1, 2023.

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