Movie: Jasper Jones

I’ve heard people speak about the movie Jasper Jones and felt quite bemused because it doesn’t sound particularly like the book I remember reading.  Parts of it – yes, but I don’t remember the strong emphasis on Jasper’s aboriginality. Looking back at my own blogpost about the book, I appear to be a bit underwhelmed and puzzled by the hype. I didn’t buy the basic premise of the plot – i.e. that Charlie would feel compelled to get involved – and I must admit that I still feel that way.

So I didn’t have great expectations of the movie (which was not my choice to see). But I was pleasantly surprised.  The acting was excellent, particularly Toni Collette as Charlie’s mother, who had slipped my memory completely from the book.  The small Western Australian timber town was captured faithfully, and it was a satisfying coming-of-age story that evoked shades of  To Kill a Mockingbird.  I really enjoyed it

My rating: 8.5/10

7 responses to “Movie: Jasper Jones

  1. Oh I’m so glad you liked it Janine. I love, love love the book, I saw the play in Sydney at the start of last year (and didn’t really remember the story at that stage) and fell in love all over again. I enjoyed the movie, but think that I enjoy the book (which I must reread at some stage, I read a library copy initially, but have since bought my own) and the play more- the play is amazing. I thought the boy who played Charlie looked too young for the role (not his fault, more my expectations).

    • Yes, I remembered that you really liked it. I thought that I had bought the book, but I can’t see it on my shelves here, so perhaps I borrowed it. How old were the boys supposed to be?

  2. You have reminded me that I saw Jasper Jones as a stage play at the Melbourne Theater Company in 2015 (or early 2016?). An excellent play, very well performed.

  3. Interesting what strikes us and what we remember. For me the race issues were the major aspects of the novel – Japer’s aboriginally, because it’s behind the plot, and Geoffrey’s Vietnamese ethnicity, because he’s such a beautifully drawn character. I didn’t remember the girl’s story – how and why she died! What I mainly remember was that I enjoyed the book, but felt Silvey had thrown too many issues in there. I think that is still a bit of a problem, but I did enjoy the film. They captured the era well.

  4. Oh, and I guess I do buy the Charlie bit. He’s a kind boy, and would find it hard to say no when asked for help. I can relate to that!

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