Jasper Jones

By Angie Raphael

4.5 stars 

Craig Silvey’s award-winning novel delved into some complex themes, so it was always going to be tough to adapt, but the film manages to capture the essence of the dark coming-of-age story while staying relatively true to the book. Set in the fictional West Australian town of Corrigan in the 1960s, the film tells the story of Charlie Bucktin (Levi Miller) who wakes up one night to the sound of Jasper Jones (Aaron McGrath) knocking on his bedroom window, pleading for his help after the Aboriginal boy finds a dead girl and is worried about being blamed. There are several twists to the story and some great character development. Miller is compelling to watch, while McGrath is vulnerable and Angourie Rice is also excellent as the victim's sister and Charlie's crush. Meanwhile, Kevin Long provides some much-needed laughs as Charlie's best friend and also has an interesting sub-plot involving racism during the Vietnam War. The children are entirely capable of carrying the film on their own, but they are wonderfully supported by Australian favourites such as Toni Collette and Hugo Weaving, who are also given plenty of substance to work with. Jasper Jones may be an Australian film, but it looks like any bigger budget Hollywood production. See Jasper Jones at the cinema – it is definitely worth your money.