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What to know: Tommy dreams of being accepted into the famous Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR BROKEN HILL is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 10-18
105 minutes
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Broken Hill is a wonderful movie. The first few minutes of the movie instantly capture my attention! It tells the story of a teenage boy named Tommy (played by Luke Arnold) who dreams of starting a band to get into music school, but is distracted from his goal because he likes a girl in his class named Kat (played by Alexa Vega), and he is also discouraged by his father. Tommy and Kat end up doing community service at a jail after they pull a juvenile prank and get caught by the police. The two do not get along initially, but they gradually become friends and form an original band with the prison inmates. Is Tommy's band good enough to get him into the Sydney Conservatory music school? You have to watch this movie for yourself!
I love this movie become it is very creative. I never heard someone play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" so authentically until I heard Tommy and the inmates improvise with the song and make it sound so awesome by using all kinds of instruments- from buckets to violins. The final piece Tommy's band plays is also excellent. I think the original music by Christopher Brady and the orchestrator David Long are fantastic! I also like how director Dagen Merrill shows how Tommy hears music everywhere. Just by listening to things in nature such as grasshoppers, the wind, and rivers, in the middle of the Australian desert, Tommy can replace these normal noises with the sounds of instruments to compose a beautiful symphony in his mind. I am impressed at the way the director made this comparison.
It is difficult for me to hear everything the actors are saying because most of them have an Australian accent. Other than that, I think this is a great movie. I would recommend it to children ages 11 and up because the movie contains some deep messages that may be hard for younger kids to understand such as music can be found everywhere, and music can lift anyone's spirits. This movie will suit most viewers, especially those who are interested in music.
Credit: Gabriella Chu, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
Well crafted story with a different twist. Typical story boy enamored with girl, misbehaves, gets community service. The twist is, he wants to compose music and is very good at it. He and the girl decide to go to the state pen and create a choir with the convict population. The convicts are scary characters; there are no white collar convicts here. Good lessons about taking responsibility. The scene of the "imagined" orchestra in the outback captures you and lets you know immediately that the boy has other aspirations besides cruising through school and getting by. Exceptional production value. Good dialogue, sequence, pace. Highly recommended.
Tommy dreams of being accepted into the famous Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Unfortunately, a good band is hard to find in the middle of the Australian outback, until a strange incident leads him to a group of talented prison inmates. Starring Timothy Hutton and Alexa Vega.
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