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Beneath Clouds (2002)

  Starring: Danielle Hall, Damian Pitt
Links: Beneath Clouds on the IMDb
Genre: Drama
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Film 2002 (nominee)

This movie gets: 7.50 (2 ratings) Ranking: Ranked equal 81st of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Beneath Clouds (2002) is also mentioned in pearly's review of Australian Rules (2002).

"As unHollywood as they come" - a review by andy-j

Right from the opening minutes of this film, Lena (played flawlessly by Danielle Hall) comes across as a very strong character. She seemed far too big for the outback town in which she lived. She is surrounded by teenagers having babies, abusing drugs, and commiting crime. She is smarter than all of them, though. She knows there is far more out there and decides to go and find her father. At the same time, Vaughan, an Aboriginal boy, has just broken out of prison in order to see his mother before she dies. The two find themselves travelling together, at first purely for companionship. Even though they have come from the same place, they are worlds apart. However, as the movie progresses, they grow closer. They begin to understand each other, relate to each other, rely on each other in many ways, and trust one another. Their friendship is presented in a wonderfully understated manner, which is really what makes the movie.

The film is very Australian. It draws scenes right out. There are long pauses in conversations; Australian language; people only say what they need to say; unspoken understanding; extreme close-ups on people's faces; honest cinematography; very Australian scenery; no background music. It is unpretentious and very effective.

Beneath Clouds takes its time, but far from becoming boring, this works well. This is because the film doesn't try to rely on a plot to push itself forward. You don't really have any expectations as to where it is going to go, because the focus is more on the characters and their development. We get to study them, understand them, relate to them. And because it happens so slowly and naturally, they are believable, interesting and engaging. The story is just a vehicle to allow this all to happen.

Thought-provoking and memorable.

andy-j gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 31 Jul 2002

"A truly Australian tale" - a review by pearly

Lena (Danielle Hall) is fed up with life in the remote country town where she lives with her mother. She decides to travel to Sydney to find her father, an Irishman. After missing her bus at a truck stop, she bumps into Vaughan (Damian Pitt), an Aboriginal who has just busted out of jail so that he can visit his dying mother. The pair start to travel together, by whatever means they can, and along the way, they open up to each other more and more.

Beneath Clouds is beautifully shot, mainly on remote roads surrounded only by vast flat land. It is a very Australian film, in a totally different way than a film starring, say, Bryan Brown would be.

At first, it appears to be a very real film too; all of the goings-on have nothing Hollywood about them. About two-thirds of the way through the film, this changes - with some more outrageous things happening, which was a bit of a shame really, as I thought that the earlier sections were more interesting.

Beneath Clouds is an intelligent film. It relies heavily on emotion, and is very slow-moving, making it quite possibly inaccessible for a wide audience. It is, in a way, a modern-day version of the story told in Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) (an obvious comparison). If you see it, try to do so on the big screen, as there is lots to see.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 26 Jul 2002

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 2
Average rating: 7.50
Lowest rating: 7 (by pearly)
Highest rating: 8 (by andy-j)
Rating Percentage

Reader comments

  1. I thought this movie was great. It was realistic and lots of people can relate to Lena and Vaughns lifestyle.
    Beneath Clouds also had a good ending, it was real and you could see how they both felt about each other.

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from Kara on Tue 26 Oct 2004 11:51 #

  2. This is one of the best movies ive seen that represents aboriginal teens and howthey are classed in todays society....I was bought up in moree and have been recognised as trouble not because of my personality but because of the colour of my skin... This shows the problems that we face everyday of our lives. Most of my cousins act in this movie and its real deadly seeing them on the big screen. Well thankyou for actually making this movie as it gives everyone else a perspective on what our lives are like.. us Moree crew can relate to this story so we thankyou

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from Moree teen on Thu 09 Jun 2005 12:01 #

  3. Plz make another movie that shows what life is like in moree and around that area. Just like Moree teen im a girl from Moree and it is true that we get branned as trouble just because of someone else mistakes. As much as i love moree a want to get away from all the trouble..... This movie is great and i know it off by heart i love it bye

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from Sis on Thu 09 Jun 2005 12:07 #

  4. One of the best films i have ever seen, im a fair skinned boy of indigenous descent and can relate to lenas character really well...its a great movie...and were i come from (Nowra NSW) seems very alike moree in some ways...thank you so much keep up the good work

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from wazza on Tue 09 Aug 2005 14:03 #

  5. this movies sucked more then kelly clarkson at the MTV music vid awards!!!! and she sucks!!!! BADLY!!!

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from Kelly on Wed 21 Sep 2005 13:19 #

  6. This movie was fatter than David Morrison! and DAVID MORRISON IS DAMMED FAT!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Greg ( on Tue 11 Jul 2006 11:24 #

  7. This Movie was by far the WORST movie I have ever seen ever, including that crap movie with the italian guy

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from Johnny on Tue 11 Jul 2006 11:24 #

  8. This Movie sucks massive amounts of ass

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from joe on Tue 11 Jul 2006 11:25 #

  9. This movie is fatter than me! and im dammed fat!

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from David Morrison on Tue 11 Jul 2006 11:25 #

  10. This movie was thought provoking...really good

    Rating given: 8

    A comment from Esther on Tue 17 Oct 2006 21:24 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 5.70 (10 ratings)

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