Last year I was so lucky and saw the Belvoir Street stage version, and absolutely loved it. See my review. Jasper Jones the movie was released last week so I made sure to go along this week so it wasn't whisked off the big screen before I managed to see it. Which happens to most of the movies I want to see. And it was $10 Tuesday! Bargain. Even so there was only me and two other old ladies in my session.
Jasper Jones (the movie) has a slightly different take on the story than I remember from either the stage version or the book. It's beautifully shot in Western Australia with Pemberton becoming 1960s small town Corrigan. It's a largely white town, Jasper Jones is a local Aboriginal lad who is a good kid but blamed for anything bad that happens in the town. One night something terrible happens and Jasper calls on 14 year old Charlie Bucktin to help him, despite the fact that they don't really know each other.
Much of the action of the story revolves around the young people- Jasper, Charlie, and Charlie's friends - Eliza Wishart and Jeffrey Lu. But in the movie version I saw more of the sadness of the adults, the secrets they hold, their lives of deep unhappiness, the awful things they do. Aaron McGrath was absolutely fabulous as Jasper Jones. I suspected he would be. I'm really not good at recognising most actors, but have really enjoyed him each time I've seen him. He inhabited Jasper Jones. He was Jasper Jones.
Toni Collette and Dan Wyllie were marvellous as Charlie's parents, and Hugo Weaving masterful as Mad Jack Lionel. For me, Levi Miller came across as a little young as Charlie, which is perhaps unfair but I did see an adult play teenage Charlie in the stage version last year.
RN has a great interview with Craig Silvey and Rachel Perkins.
Now, I really need to reread the book sometime. So I can gush about Jasper Jones one more time.