Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”
A winning family film, a beautiful travelogue of the New Zealand coastline, and an Oscar nominee for Best Cinematography and Best Lead Actress in an ideal world: This low-key charmer lives up to its hefty reputation. The outcome of the plot is never in doubt, but the unexpected path it takes to get there is a pleasure. Young Castle-Hughes is expressive and strong, but the most difficult role is played by Paratene, who succeeds at being many things to many characters (and many viewers). If the film has a particular weak point, it’s the languid ambient score by Lisa Gerrard.