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Opal dream

A semi-precious gem
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 31, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
070202_inside_opal
OPAL DREAM: Real imaginary playmates

Peter Cattaneo hit paydirt in 1997 with The Full Monty, a crowd pleaser about blue-collar dreams. He mines a different vein of the same theme here and comes up with a semi-precious gem. Rex (Vince Colosimo), an entrepreneurial family man, dreams of finding “a bit of color” in his dig in an opal-mining community in the Australian Outback. His nine-year-old daughter, the changeling-like Kellyanne (Sapphire Boyce), has dreamed up a pair of imaginary playmates and has forced dad, mom (Jacqueline McKenzie), and older brother Ashmol (Christian Byers) to pretend they’re real too. The two dreams collide in a comic incident with grave consequences: Rex becomes an outcast and is prosecuted as a “ratter” — a poacher on other miners’ claims. And Kellyanne’s pals disappear, leaving her mysteriously ill. A courtroom scene crossing Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and To Kill a Mockingbird follows, but Cattaneo has a keen sense of the difference between kitsch and whimsy, and as in Monty, he knows how to leave an audience feeling good.
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  Topics: Reviews , Peter Cattaneo
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