Set in a small town in New South Wales in 1962, this Australian coming-of-age tale focuses on the changing relationship between two teenagers who have been friends since they were kids. Sixteen-year-old Freya (Loene Carmen) is taken with a wild older boy, Trevor (Ben Mendelsohn), a star
rugby player and joyriding car thief. Her younger friend, Danny (Noah Taylor), meanwhile, is in the throes of lust for her. He learns that Freya's mother died in childbirth as a young girl. Before long history repeats itself: Freya finds out that she is pregnant and is rejected by her family.
Though it covers familiar territory, this well-acted, skillfully photographed film is a gentle examination of the rites of passage. At its center are fine performances by the young leads. Carmen in particular captures the burgeoning sensuality and increasingly complex emotions of a teen who, for
most of the movie, still hasn't completely let go of childhood. There are some wonderful, very real moments in THE YEAR MY VOICE BROKE, both humorous and touching; however, in aiming for the heart, writer-director John Duigan occasionally slips into sentimentality.
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