Australasian Cinema > films >
Amy (Nadia Tass, 1997) prod. Nadia Tass, David Parker; wr. David Parker; dp David Parker; Rachel Griffiths, Alana de Roma, Ben Mendelsohn, Nick Barker, Kerry Armstrong, Jeremy Trigatti, William Zappa, Sullivan Stapleton, Torquil Neilson, Mary Ward, Susie Porter; little girl won't speak after the sudden death of her father, and will only communicate in song; she ceases to speak as a result of family trauma: her father, a rock musician, dies on stage as she watches
Amy's (Alana De Roma) father, Will Enker (Nick Barker), was a popular rock musician accidentally electrocuted while performing on stage. The psychological trauma leaves Amy mute and deaf. At the age of eight she is brought by her mother, Tanya (Rachel Griffiths), to Melbourne to diagnose the reasons for her continued silence. Amy befriends her neighbor, Robert (Ben Mendelsohn), and while social workers try desperately to get her to speak and go to school, she makes the choice to communicate again and begins to sing along to Robert's rock songs after three years of silence. Her mother works out her own emotional issues with the help of a therapist.
Wikipedia (on "reception"):
When it was released, Amy received rave reviews and many awards and nominations. The film also received criticism as it was sometimes felt to be dated and imprecise in its references to Amy's plight. In France and the U.S, the movie was a hit, apparently receiving standing ovations at some theatres. The film received approval from Lawrence van Gelder of The New York Times when he offered that "A couple of good performances, linked to a crowd-pleasing but predictable story marred by some slapdash construction await audiences..." and "Warm of heart, modest in polish, 'Amy' provides satisfactions that must be balanced against its flaws." The Seattle Post-Intelligencer was less forgiving when they opined that "although the film is a decidedly mixed bag, it's blessed by solid performances from a top-notch cast", that it "feels dated and imprecise", and is "not able to make up its mind whether it wants to be slapstick or a heart-wrenching drama."
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 43%, based on reviews from 14 critics. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 40 out of 100, based on reviews from 8 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Based on 8 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
New York Daily News Jami Bernard
Alana De Roma is going to be a tremendous star.
Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas
A skilled heart-tugger from Australia that verges on rock opera.
The New York Times Lawrence Van Gelder
Warm of heart, modest in polish, Amy provides satisfactions that must be balanced against its flaws.
New York Post Lou Lumenick
The sort of heart-tugger a small group of people will love passionately.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Paula Nechak
In the end, it trivializes the psychological complexity of the girl's post-traumatic stress and betrays a game group of actors who struggle to find balance between the alternately dark drama and the silly, over-the-top melodrama.
L.A. Weekly Chuck Wilson
If Tass had found a way to include more playfulness, her film would be more endearing. Instead, she accents the easy bathos of David Parker's script, from the problems of the shrill, cliched neighbors to a finale that plays like a movie of the week.
TV Guide Magazine Steve Simels
Your ability to overlook the film's myriad contrivances will ultimately depend on how you react to little De Roma.
Village Voice Jessica Winter
Plumbs new depths of craven heartstring-yanking.
Second photo by Skip Watkins.
Garry Gillard | New: 8 March, 2022 | Now: 8 March, 2022