Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Jasper Jones The Movie

Today I spent a lovely two hours of my Tuesday afternoon at the movies seeing Jasper Jones. I've been excited for this movie for ages. I'm a big Jasper Jones fan. I read the book some time soon after it came out in 2009. For reasons that escape me entirely I never blogged about it. I've always meant to reread it. I originally read a library copy, and I've since bought my own hardback copy, but haven't managed to reread it as yet. 

Last year I was so lucky and saw the Belvoir Street stage version, and absolutely loved it. See my review. Jasper Jones the movie was released last week so I made sure to go along this week so it wasn't whisked off the big screen before I managed to see it. Which happens to most of the movies I want to see. And it was $10 Tuesday! Bargain. Even so there was only me and two other old ladies in my session. 

Jasper Jones (the movie) has a slightly different take on the story than I remember from either the stage version or the book. It's beautifully shot in Western Australia with Pemberton becoming 1960s small town Corrigan. It's a largely white town, Jasper Jones is a local Aboriginal lad who is a good kid but blamed for anything bad that happens in the town. One night something terrible happens and Jasper calls on 14 year old Charlie Bucktin to help him, despite the fact that they don't really know each other. 

Much of the action of the story revolves around the young people- Jasper, Charlie, and Charlie's friends - Eliza Wishart and Jeffrey Lu. But in the movie version I saw more of the sadness of the adults, the secrets they hold, their lives of deep unhappiness, the awful things they do. Aaron McGrath was absolutely fabulous as Jasper Jones. I suspected he would be. I'm really not good at recognising most actors, but have really enjoyed him each time I've seen him. He inhabited Jasper Jones. He was Jasper Jones.  

Toni Collette and Dan Wyllie were marvellous as Charlie's parents, and Hugo Weaving masterful as Mad Jack Lionel. For me, Levi Miller came across as a little young as Charlie, which is perhaps unfair but I did see an adult play teenage Charlie in the stage version last year. 

There's a great segment on ABC's The Mix featuring Craig Silvey and director Rachel Perkins talking about the adaptation of book to screen. And somewhat synchronously Deborah Abela features too- I'm currently listening to one of her stories in the car! My first of her books- The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen (slight spoiler- it's fantastic).

RN has a great interview with Craig Silvey and Rachel Perkins. 

Now, I really need to reread the book sometime. So I can gush about Jasper Jones one more time. 


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Could the book be on an updated version of 1001 Children's Books? We should start collecting titles for that update.

Sue Bursztynski said...

I've seen the play, which was wonderful. Never read the book...yet. I'm glad to hear the film is good - hopefully I will get to see it before it goes off. Films these days rarely hang around at the cinema more than a week or two.