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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 24.08%
Average: 6.94%
Pretty Bad: 2.86%
Total Crap: 13.47%

5 reviews, 215 user ratings

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Looking for Alibrandi
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by Dust For Eyes

"Up there with the best teen film ever made"
5 stars

Meeting Alibrandi joins that long line of teen films. The teen film line is a very long and rather lumpy line, but the vibrant Alibrandi is one of the best.

When weighing up US teen films versus Australian teen films, which comes out on top? The US could be seen as coming out on top purely by sheer weight of numbers. Yet looking at the best Australian teen films you see not just the best of the genre, but the best that Australia has produced of any genre.

The Australian teen films are superior.

That lofty, biased, ill-considered, rash, opinion is pretty much down to Noah Taylor.

Known best as the young David Helfgott in Shine, his trio of films The Year My Voice Broke, Flirting, (both directed by John Duigan) and The Nostradamus Kid were heart-breakingly wonderful and are up there with the best Australian film has produced.

You may offer John Hughes' 80s films, or Election, Heathers or something else no-one even remembers, but these films are nowhere near the heights of the Australian trio of films.

The excellent standard continues with Looking For Alibrandi.

Josie Alibrandi (Miranda) is in her final year in high school and is determined to make a good fist of it so she can study law. Apart from worrying about her future and how to handle the resident school bitch Carly (Leeanna Walsman), she has her eyes set on John Barton (Newton), school captain of an exclusive private boys school. That's until wrong-side-of-the-tracks Jacob (Gurry) - another school captain - turns up and attempts to woo Josie.

If that wasn't enough, Josie - living with her single mother - has to deal with her Italian heritage. It comes mainly in the form of her grand mother (Cotta) and Josie doesn't quite fit in. Then there is the secret of the identity of her father.

This energetic, smart and sassy film is in danger of being swamped by Gladiator - suffering from the probably unwise decision to release it on the same day as the Russell Crowe epic chest beater. That would be a shame as Alibrandi is superior in many ways.

Firstly the story is fresh and vibrant and the characters are far more layered, tangible and real. Although not without her frustrations, and uncertainties, Josie is street wise, smart and confident. It's no wonder that the book the film is based on is so popular with schoolgirls. Miranda does a top class job in not only playing this tricky character but also in being the backbone of the entire film - not bad for her feature debut. The way she seems to be a different person as she swings from mood to mood is fantastic.

Woods draws out excellent performances from Scacchi and LaPaglia and special mention should go to Italian actress Cotta who, despite most of her dialogue being in English, can't speak a word of it herself - she learnt it phonetically. She is superb as Josie's frustrating grand mother with secrets of her own.

First time director, Woods has the film at a quick pace with generous helpings of humour and drama. The film is mostly visually simple, yet there are some colourful dynamic sequences and the shift from comedy to drama is handled expertly.

The film strides along pleasantly enough, but then it rips and leaves you quite moved. The emotional depth of this film is quite extraordinary and is a huge credit to the novel and scriptwriter Melina Marchetta.

Unlike US teen films that seem to think that teenagers think of sex and nothing else what so ever, Looking For Alibrandi provides a full range of issues that are on teenager's minds - including one that adults are afraid just to mention. We should praise Woods and Marchetta to deal with this difficult issue. You'll have to watch the film to see what issue I'm talking about.

Watch the US teen films and Gladiator if you must, but also see Looking For Alibrandi for a fun, sad, fulfilling, and totally satisfying film.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 05/09/00 09:39:54
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For more in the Australian series, click here.

User Comments

4/17/16 kyoecar USA 2 stars
5/17/13 Kye Thelan Good Australian movie, but many changes, such as the end. 4 stars
5/21/12 Dan Just caught this movie last night - you're a moron if you don't like it! 4 stars
5/02/11 Jaimie Meh, wasn't as good as it's made out to be and writing a review on it will be a drag. :/ 3 stars
9/05/10 Pizza Great Aus film with awesome charaters 5 stars
11/18/09 yusef i need to write a film review on it but i need it a bit dummed down any ideasi cbf doing my 4 stars
7/21/09 Blondii aka alex. x ¢¾ I loved the movie. it makes us teenagers aware of the issues with growing up nd challenges. 5 stars
7/24/08 tim awful plot, acting was gay too 1 stars
7/23/08 ning shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit 1 stars
4/30/08 lil' emmzee friggin' hopeless man 1 stars
4/23/08 Lemon Shitestest thing iv read n seen in ages.. HOPE IT BURNS IN HELL.. FUKN ESSAY. SLUT WHORE 1 stars
4/01/08 lara frigin awsome!!! 5 stars
3/31/08 beau oh stop complaining this is a perfect example of youth culture and it is crafted superbly! 4 stars
3/27/08 daniel erf... what a crappy movie- crap acting, crap plo- plus i too have to write a film review! 2 stars
3/17/08 matt crapiest book/movie of all time and now i have to write an essay on it 1 stars
1/17/08 DoingAnEssayOnLookingForAlibrandiATM hmmm.. i read the book and saw the movie. The book was way better. Sucks to do this essay 2 stars
9/05/07 Sasha The Book was way better because all the events where better shown and described. 3 stars
8/20/07 Ash I think it was a poor effort . the movie is much better an the film distroyed it 1 stars
8/18/07 sokleap i like ths pretty interesting...any way i learn alot about this film 5 stars
8/14/07 sam great book - too short/underdeveloped movie.. lots of multicultural issues too 3 stars
7/13/07 Jezza I thought it was great. Although Matthew Newton made me spew. Bert would have been better. 4 stars
5/09/07 Looking for alibrandi sucks. I thought the acting was dog house. The plot was ok, but it wasnt my type of movie. hahah 1 stars
5/02/07 fefe this is the worst movie i have ever seen and wats worse i have to rite an essay on it!! 1 stars
4/21/07 bread crapy acting 2 stars
4/03/07 pickies Who is this josie chick wat a loser 1 stars
4/03/07 josie bloody ausome and amzing 5 stars
4/02/07 pickies load of shit 1 stars
3/07/07 Angi Awsome, nearly as good as the book!!! Loved it!!! 5 stars
11/03/06 Riva good, but not make me interest 2 stars
10/26/06 Timbo Fucking love it. It's one of my favs! WOHOOO 5 stars
10/23/06 Carina This film proves that you can embrace your culture and have autonomy. A must see! 5 stars
9/25/06 shawti this movie made e laught and even cry at times!! it was a great movie!! 4 stars
9/23/06 Mel Anyone who doesn't love this movie, is crazy, they have never dreamed, never will and don't 5 stars
8/02/06 erana i think this film reflects how racism really is in Australia, or even in any country 5 stars
6/26/06 Robyn the book was better 3 stars
4/03/06 Andrea Lewis the best movie eva!!!!!! 5 stars
3/05/06 sarah smith The roots of this film are really firm and makes it a delight to watch. 5 stars
11/13/05 Emma ohh it was mad, i luved it 5 stars
10/26/05 Moose The film was extraordinary and the book gave me tingles 5 stars
10/15/05 alice its a good film~ i do think the book is BeTtEr tho kkk. u r a fag CHRIS 4 stars
7/28/05 Vallen Hertansia Awesome but the book is better 5 stars
6/26/05 bernadette it was so amazing and done very well. i loved pia miranda. 5 stars
6/22/05 jill weissich auhentic, emotional, inspirational; how many secrets exist. 5 stars
5/01/05 georgia i loved it! And the book was great too! i recommend it even 5 years after it was made! 5 stars
4/11/05 cristi I thought it was great if you really take time to think about it 5 stars
3/20/05 Will my favourite Australian film 5 stars
11/25/04 the italian boy chris why dont you go get fucked you stubid fag 5 stars
11/22/04 Jimmy This Movie is The Worst movie ever 1 stars
11/13/04 Sharna Shale It was quite good- i especilly thought that the characterisation was very good! 4 stars
11/12/04 Chris Poor little wog, they can all go get fucked! 1 stars
11/09/04 Mary-jane i think that this movie shows people what the real world is like 5 stars
10/18/04 Rose I really liked the movie 5 stars
10/16/04 Hayley Great film 5 stars
10/14/04 Scott I believe that this movie was complete and utter rubish, gay 1 stars
9/17/04 Kate Powell great 5 stars
8/02/04 Unmboo Looking for Alibrandi is a wonderful film and book, it is simply and straight-forward 5 stars
8/02/04 P.Rodriguez Pia. Hmmmmm 5 stars
7/25/04 Jada should check it out it's GREAT...!!! 4 stars
7/02/04 Hymen Sorry for giving u the comment :) 5 stars
7/02/04 Hymen I was very disappointed when I throught there would be a porn scene in it but there wasn't. 1 stars
7/02/04 Tommy Griffiths 1 stars
6/15/04 Daz I LOVE THIS MOVIE, it rocks turly. :] 5 stars
6/09/04 Chantal This movie was interesting, the horrors of being a teenager i give it 9 out of 10 5 stars
6/07/04 annabel i loved it so much it was awesome u should do a part 2 5 stars
5/27/04 melissa i love this movie ---> i could watch it every day!! 5 stars
5/23/04 martin harris good film 4 stars
5/23/04 yah mum its shit 1 stars
5/21/04 Brodie I love it, Looking For Alibrandi is my ALL-TIME FAVOURITE!!!!!! 5 stars
5/04/04 alison really awesome.. i don't know if i like the movie or the book better but both are soooo gre 5 stars
4/17/04 Gill i thought it was agreat movie and you can never watch it toomany times, and i am now studin 5 stars
4/01/04 Rezi its good when first watching it but gets boring after. 3 stars
4/01/04 Princess I thourght itwas agreat film for teenagers 5 stars
3/30/04 Kimberley I think it is a movie that relates to teenagers and was a really good movie 5 stars
3/29/04 Maurice fucking bad man!!!!!! 1 stars
3/28/04 Lauren It focused on the characters perspectives and how they changed alot i thought it was good. 4 stars
3/25/04 jess not as good as i thought it would have been 4 stars
3/24/04 emily crawford it was a great film and you should see it 4 stars
3/21/04 Jemma Movie was pretty poor, But novel was fantastic! 4 stars
3/20/04 Shows the clash of cultures in modern australia 5 stars
3/19/04 minu shithouse! 1 stars
3/14/04 sham wasn't as good as the book 3 stars
3/14/04 Meg I loved it! Totally Rocked! 5 stars
3/02/04 bob its shocking 1 stars
2/24/04 MoJ this movie was good but i thinkl i was more captured by the book 4 stars
12/20/03 fiņ. Nice film...but sicily isn't so stupid and ancient as it's represented.kiss kiss,fiņ. 4 stars
12/01/03 Bob It was a interesting book 4 stars
11/19/03 Ammie great movie really really good 5 stars
10/24/03 eleanoooooor reasdyman Pooh!!!! 1 stars
10/22/03 Rebecca This is a good film and book because it is how most teenagers feels at the end of yr12 5 stars
10/16/03 Sarah Awsome i love It! 5 stars
10/06/03 madz awesome adaption of italian traditions, i related so much to the movie. 5 stars
9/25/03 Sandra A terrible adaptation from the book, this version has completely changed from the original 2 stars
9/16/03 Olivia good 5 stars
5/30/03 meaghan fantastic! finally a realistic depiction of teenage life in australia 4 stars
4/29/03 Joe excellent for an Australian film!!! 5 stars
4/25/03 Hannah Hawkins this is an amazing & inspiring Ozzie film! touching & heart felt, a definate one to keep. 5 stars
4/24/03 mr. doof Unquestionably exquisite, sums up today's society, never shut up about this film.. 5 stars
4/03/03 john it was alright 4 stars
3/20/03 Jess! i think this film is sooo good because i can realate to it since i am also italian 5 stars
3/16/03 Lizzay! totally like my life: pity they cut so much out of the book tho. 5 stars
3/13/03 Irene this movie is realy cool and i aslo understood it when i read the book at school 5 stars
2/18/03 Kelly The best movie eva seen on scenes and i can watch it more than 10 times if i have to. 5 stars
2/18/03 Pinkline Jones I never want to see Pia Mirand naked again 1 stars
2/16/03 Jan S I am going to buy the DVD so I will have it always. 5 stars
10/27/02 chayna never tired of watching it! 5 stars
10/12/02 ShoBaShiNi The film..was truely amazing.....i loved it so much.... 5 stars
10/02/02 Daniella Bassan it was great i come also from that background and it is all right I LOVE THIS MOVIE 5 stars
9/07/02 siobhan fantastic, brilliant flic! 5 stars
8/09/02 Luke One to watch over and over 5 stars
6/08/02 Suad I thought that teh film was a little dull compared to the novel "Looking For Alibrandi". 3 stars
6/05/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi very very good 5 stars
5/14/02 Jodie Douglas Luved It 5 stars
5/14/02 crystal stacey and jess we like the movie. yeah we rock 5 stars
4/29/02 StEvE its a chick flick if your a lad dont see it by your self take a girl (shoddy!) 1 stars
4/17/02 sasha jalanski very realistic 4 stars
4/16/02 Lisa This movie is the best i have ever seen. i could watch it amillion times and never be bored 5 stars
4/11/02 Heidi Espiritu I loved it! 5 stars
4/08/02 Brooke Loved it- Good mix of laughs & cries 5 stars
4/06/02 Sophy Great movie. Relates to teens today. I loved it! 5 stars
3/31/02 Fiona not as good at the book but heartwarming! 4 stars
3/29/02 Michelle The best movie ever! Fantastic 5 stars
3/26/02 rachel green Its awsome 5 stars
3/26/02 Nada Kayal Its a Very Good Movie 5 stars
3/18/02 banks awesome 5 stars
3/16/02 Lauren Kilby my favourite movie!! 5 stars
2/18/02 Jes Vanders It was fantastic, loved it loved it loved it! 5 stars
1/16/02 fan great movie! kick gurry is soooo cute. worth a look 5 stars
1/04/02 Sarah Burgess I absolutely love the movie and book 5 stars
12/29/01 nikki the best, 5 stars
11/29/01 me over done crap 1 stars
11/17/01 asshole crap 1 stars
11/17/01 asshole crap 1 stars
11/05/01 Alison SFC You have to watch this at least once 5 stars
11/02/01 Ellouise Great flick - loved it - Marchetta you are great 4 stars
10/21/01 Louise Egan fav film 5 stars
10/21/01 louise angleton great flick 4 stars
10/18/01 Allyson A very interesting movie, one i could watch more than once 5 stars
10/18/01 alison jones the best fillm from aussie!!she should be proud of her self 5 stars
10/02/01 Piss Off 1 stars
9/04/01 Liv great movie 4 stars
8/19/01 liz prossiter good- but nowhere near as good as the book 3 stars
8/10/01 megan jones very moving 5 stars
8/08/01 Ally Total Crap! Waste of my time... 1 stars
8/08/01 Ally Total Crap! Waste of my time... 1 stars
8/08/01 Angie Exellent 4 stars
8/07/01 Riana I'm an American teenager but I saw the film while on vacation in Australia. I loved it. 5 stars
7/10/01 Ratko Denis Todorovic III It was very good , being a wog i can really relate to the film. 4 stars
7/01/01 chels i loved this movie it`s one of my favs 5 stars
6/29/01 YUAN-YI CHEN I feel this flim is very good. I feel Pia miranda who was wonderful. I like her very muc 1 stars
6/28/01 jess this was a great aussie film and i could relate to it like i was acting josie! 5 stars
6/25/01 koko it was totaly comic and in high un-reality. and over all i found her a not nice person. 1 stars
5/29/01 Stacey R utherford "The most touching and influencial movie and novel I've ever seen and read" 5 stars
5/28/01 Rebeca Tisian I liked so much the movie. Even though it's a comun family history, it's a new vision! 5 stars
5/16/01 Laura This is my favorite movie of all time!! I wish they would release it in the US in theaters. 5 stars
5/08/01 Hayley Smith I loved the movie and the book because i have a lot in coomon in what is happening. 5 stars
5/03/01 Amy Nash It was an excellent movie 5 stars
3/29/01 Louisa This is one of the best movies i have eva seen i loved it sooo much i even bought the tape 5 stars
3/27/01 Jess i think it was better than the book because i liked it when josie and jacob were together . 4 stars
3/26/01 barry fantastic 5 stars
3/19/01 J.Arcane Not bad mate 4 stars
3/05/01 Stephen Mitolo THOUGHT IT WAS RASCIT 3 stars
2/28/01 fiona very very cool 5 stars
2/19/01 Sarah Miller Excellent book - worthwhile reading 4 stars
2/15/01 tarlia fanfuckingtastic 5 stars
2/14/01 Anna Spinks I LOVE it I've even bought the video 5 stars
2/11/01 Tanya Bulner it started off a bit slow, but it got better 5 stars
2/07/01 Gary Relevant to 2nd generation migrants 4 stars
2/02/01 beckie it was cool 5 stars
2/01/01 Tania Mikael I have 2 admit the movie is'nt that good i prefer the book 1 stars
1/30/01 Theresa Hartley I loved it!! I came upon it on accident on TV and loved it!! Excellent film. 5 stars
1/24/01 Vita Caradonna Luvd It SOOOOOOOOOO much!!!!! 5 stars
1/12/01 Ezzie Torresan Best movie I've seen, you can relate to it really well, I give it 10 out of 10. 5 stars
1/07/01 Megan I've seen it 4 times and love it, but I think it's Kick that makes it a great movie 5 stars
1/03/01 Jemma i thought it was a really good movie, and i'm proud that it is australian 5 stars
1/01/01 Kate it rulz, it's just awsom 5 stars
12/28/00 Kick's Chick LFA rocks! I loved it! And although Kick is cute - you gotta remember Anton - Honey or what 5 stars
12/24/00 Jasmine I think Kick Gurry is sooo damn sexy i see him! 5 stars
11/23/00 donna hutchings kick gurry is hot and he makes the film 10/10 5 stars
11/13/00 Angela Kick Gurry is soooo hot!!! 5 stars
11/13/00 Shamita Chandra it was good, but i was just wondering why it was dirrerent from the movie 4 stars
11/12/00 shana this is the best movie i have seen in a very long time. I loved it, and i want to buy it. 5 stars
11/10/00 Stacey Timms Kick Gurry is an absolute babe, Awesome acting fantastic novel waasn't disappointed at all! 5 stars
11/10/00 Jessica If you have seen the movie read the book! 5 stars
11/09/00 shizen magorken this film reallly wreaks 1 stars
11/08/00 Where can I buy this movie, I having a hard time finding it. 5 stars
11/06/00 little loulou very good! it kicks ass! 5 stars
11/05/00 simoe vidaic its grate 5 stars
11/01/00 Lauryn i can totally rlate to this movie, it rocks 5 stars
10/28/00 Nat Average acting 2 stars
10/22/00 sara easy to relate to without being stereotypical 5 stars
10/11/00 Vanessa i'm italian so i could relate to it overall it was the most interesting movie i've seen 5 stars
9/27/00 susie highschool profoundly wonderful 5 stars
9/01/00 lisa a really moving story 4 stars
8/21/00 neil bartlett good adaption of an excellent teen novel 4 stars
7/10/00 Tim Maddocks 4 stars
6/21/00 Michael O"Neill better than I expected 4 stars
6/12/00 Bec the wildest movie eva! 5 stars
6/11/00 Melodie-jane Gibson The most inspiring urban/contemporary movie to come out of Australia since "The Sum of Us". 5 stars
5/31/00 debra evelyn highly entertaining- watched it twice 4 stars
5/30/00 Chloe i can't believe people rave about this film. i was forced to watch it and i hated it!! 1 stars
5/28/00 Belinda Pretty Average. Saved by LaPaglia 3 stars
5/28/00 Lucy Fantastic! Captures the European-Australian feeling at its best. 5 stars
5/27/00 Mic 3.5 Stars. Nothing exceptional but still worth a look. 3 stars
5/27/00 Kelly A really good film 5 stars
5/25/00 Celine Graham it's was actually a bit better than i expected it to be... 4 stars
5/24/00 slacko07 Good movie, but John Barton isnt developed enough as a character 4 stars
5/23/00 Amira Great screenplay, brilliant acting, an overall joy to watch! 5 stars
5/21/00 Arlene a little too pushy but still fun to watch 4 stars
5/19/00 John Good 5 stars
5/16/00 sharelle it went on for too long 4 stars
5/12/00 TIGGER Very good. Pia was fantastic 5 stars
5/09/00 Sean A great movie thats fresh and original and that does not push cliches like other teen movie 5 stars
5/08/00 Lajos Kozak Fantastic australian movie. Very emotoinal while at the same time, fun to watch. 4 stars
5/08/00 MR joel harwood One of the best AUSTRALIAN movies out up there with ME MESELF I a top flick for all ages 5 stars
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  01-Jan-2000 (R)



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