Joyful Noise

Friends tell me that the reviews of Bran Nue Dae, the new feature film directed by Rachel Perkins and based on the 1989 stage play by Jimmy Chi have been less than ecstatic. The few that I’ve read have been good, although there’s a universal agreement that some of the acting is “sub-par.” Of course, one reviewer faults Geoffrey Rush as stiff or Jessica Mauboy as amateurish, while another exults in another Rushian triumph or the freshness that pop-star Mauboy brings to the screen. The one thing that everyone seems to agree on it that you have to see it for yourself. And those who have seen it agree that it’s the most delightful thing to have happened in Australian cinema in a long, long time. I certainly enjoyed Tom Zubrycki’s 1991 documentary about the original stage production, but those of us on foreign shores will probably have a long wait for an international release. So if you can’t see the film itself, rejoice in the trailer, which is available, of course, on YouTube. Even three minutes of this film is more fun than I’ve had in weeks.

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