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Jasper Jones

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Starring Levi Miller and Kevin Long

The issues surrounding racism in the 1960’s has been the subject matter of films over many years and Australia is no exception. This time it is during the summer of 1965 in Corrigan, a fictitious Western Australian town where the biggest thing to happen centres on the preparations for the New Year fireworks. However the only thing on Charlie Bucktin’s (Levi Miller) mind is reading books, discussing the world of comic heroes with his best mate, Jeffery Lu and recently, thinking about Eliza Wishart (Angourie Rice). All of these adolescent thoughts are dashed one night when Jasper Jones (Aaron L. McGrath) shows up at his window asking for help. Charlie knows the reputation of the mixed race outcast of their small community and is not sure what to do, but eventually goes out with the young man to the bush area on the outskirts of town. Their quiet journey is abruptly interrupted by the body of Laura Wishart who is badly brutalised and hanging in a eucalyptus tree. Jasper is desperate for Charlie to help him find the person behind the death of the young lady, because he had been romantically involved with Laura. As the local delinquent, he is sure that the authorities will accuse him of her ruthless killing, especially when they find out all of the details of their relationship. Charlie has to come to terms with this moral dilemma: should he turn Jasper into the police or should he help him to find the murderer? Based on the 2009 novel by the Australian author, Craig Silvey, it addresses the real life issues of racism and abuse in the 1960’s as they are experienced through the eyes of a child. Director Rachel Perkins and a great cast of Aussie actors lift the movie to above average. Hugo Weaving and Toni Collette fulfill their supporting roles with excellent performances, but their star power is overshadowed by the young cast especially Levi Miller and Kevin Long. Jasper Jones is a funny, heartbreaking and incredibly wise adaptation of Craig Silvey’s second novel.

Rated M 8 out of 10