A courageous teenage boy explores the murky waters of a small Australian town in Rachel Perkins’ atmospheric, richly peopled adaptation of a popular Australian murder mystery.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2017
A bookish teenage boy’s instinctive sympathy for the town’s scapegoat draws him into the murkiest secrets of a righteous community in this whodunit set, very persuasively, in late-60s small-town Australia.
“Centered on a 14-year-old boy caught up in a murder mystery involving a part-Aboriginal suspect, this outstanding adaptation of Craig Silvey’s novel will appeal strongly to teenage and adult audiences. Boasting excellent performances by young actors Aaron McGrath, Levi Miller (Pan) and Angourie Rice (The Nice Guys), and with Toni Collette in top form as the protagonist’s frustrated mother, this is the best film yet by director Rachel Perkins (Bran Nue Dae)...
Published in 2009 and since adapted for several highly-acclaimed stage productions, Silvey’s source material is regarded as something of a Down Under To Kill a Mockingbird. Tackling themes of prejudice, class, justice and death through the inquiring eyes of a teenager who dreams of being a writer, Jasper also invokes the spirit of films such as Stand by Me, in which youngsters take very adult matters into their own hands.” — Richard Kuipers, Variety
“Rachel Perkins... threads the plot’s various elements together so seamlessly it’s easy to forget that Jasper Jones ticks many boxes at the same time: a charming, genre-traversing film. It’s compelling as a whodunit, touching as a coming-of-age story, insightful as a picture of race relations and crafty as a drama about secrets, concealing a few of its own for a final, satisfying reveal.” — Luke Buckmaster, The Guardian