Posts Tagged ‘Richard Rosburgh’

“H IS FOR HAPPINESS”  My rating: B-

98 minutes | No MPAA rating

The Aussie “H Is for Happiness” aspires to the quirky uplift of “Amelie,” only for the tweener crowd.

Every now and then it gets there.

John Sheedy’s film is set in a postcard pretty town that seems timeless despite the very modern wind turbines that dot the landscape. It’s the sort of place where kids can run free, playing in the nearby forests and ranging far and wide on their bikes without fear.  We never see a cop, probably because they’d be superfluous.

Our pint-sized heroine is 12-year-old Candice (Daisy Axon), a buoyant amalgam of flaming Pippi Longstocking pigtails, endless freckles and unstoppable optimism.

Candice is a learning nerd, the kind of pint-sized intellectual who asks incredibly complex questions (the teacher is Miriam Margolyes with a disarmingly weird rotating CG eyeball) just as the end-of-session bell rings. She rapturously soaks up the detailed answer  oblivious to the stinkeyes directed at her by groaning classmates, who just want to leave.

Lisa Hoppe’s screenplay attempts to balance (not always gracefully) the essential innocence of Candice’s world view with the grim realities of her life.

Her mother Claire (Emma Booth) is a recluse who never recovered from the death several years before of Candice’s infant sister. Dad Jim (Richard Roxburgh) is a computer repairman and basement inventor embittered by a falling out with his brother. That would be Rich Uncle Brian (Joel Jackson), who made millions off an unspecified creation originally developed with his sibling.


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