peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2022 03 08 TheYearMyVoiceBroke

The Year My Voice Broke (1987)

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On a DVD from Orange City Library. Written and directed by John Duigan. I don't know if he had any attachment to Braidwood, NSW where this was shot; Wikipedia suggests not. I feel like I saw this on VHS back in the 1990s.

Yet another coming of age set in the early 1960s. (Compare against a random sample: Praise, Peggy Sue Got Married, and to a lesser extent, The Fringe Dwellers from the year before.) Noah Taylor and Loene Carmen are childhood friends with great chemistry that is put to good use by Duigan's script. (She later played Sallie-Anne Huckstepp in Blue Murder.) There's something of Don Walker's Shots in their relationship. Later Ben Mendelsohn, so young, relegates Noah to a sexless third wheel; apart from being too weedy for a rugby league fullback (I'd've thought) he does a great job as a randy young larrikin with OCD and a vague sense of responsibility who just wants to set lap records on the local racetrack in someone else's Mercedes. Beautifully shot and the setting is used to brilliant effect.

Caryn James in the New York Times, at the time. Luke Buckmaster in 2015. Ah yes, barflies Harold Hopkins (also the footy coach) and Graham Blundell. Paul Byrnes, briefly: perhaps I am too inured to the hypocrisy of small country towns to have seen the savagery. More colour at Oz movies. Bruce Spence! Gold.