“A tenderly retold tale about the healing bond between a lonely Australian boy and the orphaned pelicans he rescues and nurtures to adulthood, Shawn Seet’s Storm Boy—a new version of the classic 1976 film—capably weathers the decades, buoyed by a graceful Geoffrey Rush (Final Portrait, The Book Thief) performance.
Building in a multigenerational theme not found in the original production or the 1964 Colin Thiele novella, the updated story (penned by Justin Monjo) is seen through the eyes of Rush’s Michael Kingley, a retired executive increasingly haunted by images of his childhood, raised by his reclusive father (Jai Courtney) along the remote Coorong National Park coastline.
There, the young Michael (played by an equally impressive Finn Little), whose mom and sister died in a car accident, is taught some valuable life lessons through his particular connection to the pelican he names Mr. Percival, one of three whose own mother was shot by hunters.
Steeped in local lore provided by Trevor Jamieson’s Fingerbone Bill, an indigenous Ngarrindjeri with whom Michael also forms a connection, while also tapping several environmental and culturally relevant issues, director Seet’s gorgeously filmed production proves to resonate as much today as it did 40-plus years ago.
At once uplifting and melancholic, it’s the right Storm Boy for our turbulent times.” (Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times)
“Even those unfamiliar with the tale will find it charming and moving, and, as is so often the case with Australian films, the scenery can’t be beat.” (Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter)
“This version of Storm Boy, directed by excellent Aussie small-screen helmer Shawn Seet, has the emotional heft and visual splendor to win the hearts of domestic and international family audiences.” (Richard Kuipers, Variety)
“It has the visual wonder and strangeness of a Carroll Ballard movie like The Black Stallion or Fly Away Home. And the skeptical-looking pelicans are surprisingly endearing.” (M.V. Moorhead, Phoenix Magazine)