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Review: Oranges and Sunshine

Completely predictable
By GERALD PEARY  |  November 1, 2011
1.5 1.5 Stars

There's a potentially important documentary in this true-life tale about Margaret Humphreys, a social worker in Nottingham, England, who uncovered a momentous government scandal, whereby, for generations, impoverished British children were whisked away on ships and exiled to Australia, Canada, and other colonies. Those sent to Australia were promised "oranges and sunshine," but were victimized, often sexually, in dreadful orphanages. A chilling tale? Not when made into a maudlin, completely predictable, mainstream narrative movie by filmmaker Jim Loach (son of Ken Loach). Emily Watson is wasted as the heroic social worker, required to be earnest and empathetic scene after tedious scene.

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