- Director:Ana Kokkinos
- Cast:Deborra-Lee Furness, Sophie Lowe, Frances O'Conner, Miranda Otto, Tasma Walton
- Release Date:September 10, 2009
- Running time:113 minutes
- Film Worth:$14.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Skilfully woven together, the separate tales that eventually intersect portray a touching look at the relationship between mothers and children.
Head On director Ana Kokkinos skilfully manoeuvres multiple storylines throughout this involving drama about mothers and children. You know the stories will eventually intersect, yet watching the way the dots connect is fascinating.
Set over the course of a day and a night, Blessed is divided into two parts. The first shows the children's viewpoint, while the second revisits events from the mothers' perspective, shedding light on the stories.
These kids are all in some way disconnected from their mothers. They include the runaway Stacey and her protective brother Orton, who find shelter in a clothing bin; teenagers Trisha and Katrina, who ditch school and slam into trouble; Trisha's teenage brother Roo, who's gone AWOL; and James, an adult, but one whose childhood history forms another of the kids' tales. James is an Aboriginal man who grew up in a white home, and in just minutes of screen time encapsulates The Stolen Generation's anguish. His story, like the others, is condensed to its essential elements and is strong enough to stand alone.
Based on the play Who's Afraid Of The Working Class?, the stage origins are invisible. It's a fine script, Kokkinos is a master storyteller, and the performances are phenomenal. Deborra-lee Furness brings her steady inner energy to her motherly role, Miranda Otto lives inside her character's head, and the young members of the cast all hold their own. It's unfair to play favourites, but Frances O'Connor's Rhonda - the runaway siblings' mother - is exceptional. At first look, the pregnant, smoking, tattooed Rhonda is a cliché, but O'Connor quickly makes her real.
A lot happens to these characters, and Blessed hits hard. But as you stagger out, tissues in hand, you'll also be exhilarated by the sheer brilliance of the filmmaking.