Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Radha Mitchell, Ilsa Fogg, Ariel Joy Donahue, and Eric Bana
Director: Robert Connolly
Free Willy, Flipper, Andre, and now Blueback. Who doesn't like a family-friendly, aquatic animal saviour story? A tale focused more on the family side of things, in particular the mother-daughter relationship, Blueback may not be anything revelatory, but it makes for an enjoyable watch. And it’s only enhanced by the beautiful footage of Western Australia and some wonderfully shot underwater scenes. Toss in a highly entertaining Eric Bana performance (in a style I’d love to see more of from him), and you have another successful entry in the genre.
Blueback’s talented cast and adorable titular grouper aren’t enough to save this conservation-driven film. While the cinematography and underwater scenes capture the natural beauty of Australia impeccably, there’s little else to write home about. The film has a haphazard approach that jumps between flashbacks and the present in an attempt to weave a story around a mother-daughter relationship. Unfortunately, the end result, while calming, is hardly a story at all as the only cohesion is placed on the wildlife that is not nearly on screen enough. While the message is important, Blueback isn’t a must see.
This film was reviewed by Nick as part of Bitesize Breakdown's coverage of the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.