Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Whale Rider

Niki Caro, 2003, New Zealand (10*)
Sundance Audience Award, World Cinema
One of those amazing films that comes along all too rarely in life, one that blends myth into reality, and one that exposes a unique culture, the Maoris of New Zealand, being swallowed up by modern society. Lovingly directed by Niki Caro, from a novel by Maori author Witi Ihimaera, with beautiful music from Dead Can Dance singer Lisa Gerrard, who also scored Gladiator and The Insider.

This film is the story of Paikea, a young girl searching for self-identity in a tribal culture dominated by males for centuries, and whose grandad is intent on finding the next male tribal chief to lead his people back to their ancestral heritage and maintain time-honored ritual as a connection to their identity.

The cast is amazing, the adult Maori actors are excellent, especially Rawiri Paratene as the grandad, Koro, but the entire film is stolen by newcomer Keisha Castle-Hughes, a schoolgirl with no prior experience who was discovered in a classroom by the same casting director that found young Anna Pacquin for Jane Campion's The Piano.

Keisha Castle-Huges, a Maori who relocated from Australia to New Zealand at age 5, was nominated for 13 international awards for this role, including an Oscar for Best Actress, and was a winner of five awards: Broadcast Film Critics: Best Young Actor/Actress, Chicago Film Critics: Most Promising Performer, New Zealand Film and Tv Awards: Best Actress, Online Film Critics: Best Breakthrough Performance, Young Artist Awards: Best Actress in an International Film. In my opinion, this is one of the best performances I've ever seen by either a woman or a child, she definitely deserved some type of Oscar®.

Awards Page for Keisha at IMDB

Awards Page for Whale Rider, with 28 wins and 29 other nominations, including 9 New Zealand Film and TV awards, winning picture, director, screenplay, music, and four for acting


About Me

My photo
Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

About This Blog

This is our new template: ProBlogger.

These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

Author at EZines

  © Blogger templates ProBlogger Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP