The intrigue around ‘Jasper Jones’

The upcoming film ‘Jasper Jones, has already generated a significant amount of buzz! The film, directed by Rachel Perkins, deals with Indigenous issues and is based on the highly acclaimed 2009 book by Craig Silvey. Jasper Jones is not due to be released in cinemas until early 2017. 


Jasper Jones, Novel (By Craig Silver, 2009) – Picture Source: ABC News – Jasper Jones Book Cover

So you may ask, why is this particular Indigenous film already receiving so much attention? Why do people want to see this film?

Here are some of the ways that Jasper Jones has already received attention..

The film has been featured in Newspapers and Feature Lists 

  • The film was featured in The Iris’s, ‘Top Ten Australian Films to Look out for in 2016’
  • In October 2015, the Sydney Morning Herald had a feature article on the cast of ‘Jasper Jones’. The Herald reported that Australian actors Hugo Weaving and Toni Collette were joining the cast.

The film was apart of ‘CinefestOz’

  • The film was shown as a part of the Western Australian Film Festival ‘CinefestOz‘ in August of this year. The film was one of four other Australian films (including the popular new film ‘Spin Out’) that were in the running for $100,000.
  • This film prize is awarded to the producer of an Australian feature film, with the objective of pursuing excellence in Australia filmaking.  
  • Even though Jasper Jones did not win the film prize, the film generated a lot of positive buzz.
  • CinefestOz Festival Manager Malinda Nixon stated that ‘”I think there will be a real buzz, we’re very excited“.

The film received a ‘first look review’ by the Guardian Australia 

  • Following the films screening at CinefestOz, The Guardian Australia wrote an exclusive ‘first look review’. 
  • The review was highly complementary of the film and gave praise to both Perkins directing and the actors. 
  • The reviewer (James Robert Douglas) commented ‘that Perkins, finding the sweet spot between childish goofiness and adult drama, keeps things fleet, funny, and just the right side of suspenseful‘.
  • He also stated that, “The cast is uniformly good, especially Aaron L. McGrath (Jasper Jones) and Levi Miller, who gives a remarkably sustained lead performance as Charlie Bucktin…
  • This review prompted 17 comments on the Guardians ‘comment section’, which were all very positive.

Jasper Jones as a play

  • Jasper Jones has already been turned into a play by three different theatre companies
  • Kate Mulvany’s stage adaptation of the book, has been performed at Perth’s Barking Gecko in 2014, Sydney’s Belvoir Theatre early 2016; and now at Melbourne Theatre Company, where it will run until 1st September 2016
  • The play follows the structure of the book, with the only change being the actors ages (the actors are older than the characters in the book)
  • The play has received rave reviews, with The Age calling it ‘A Corker of a Show‘ and Time Out Melbourne saying, ‘Get a seat, because it’s bound to be a hit.’


An Image from ‘Jasper Jones’ (Play)Picture SourceMelbourne Theatre Company

Explanation of Story 

So after reading about all the hype that Jasper Jones is receiving, you must be wondering what is actually is about! Well let me tell you!

As said by ‘Screen Australia in their Plot Summary – JASPER JONES is a riveting and moving Australian coming of age story about Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14. On the night that Jasper Jones, the town’s mixed race outcast shows him the dead body of young Laura Wiseheart, his life is changed forever. Entrusted with this secret, and believing Jasper to be innocent, Charlie embarks on a dangerous journey to find the killer. Set over the scorching summer holidays of 1965, Charlie defeats the local racists and goes on his own journey of self discovery. 

The film falls into the ‘Indigenous category’ of Australian films, as Jasper is an Indigenous boy and the film deals with a lot of Indigenous issues. The director (Rachel Perkins) is also Indigenous. 

I personally can’t wait to see the film! I hope you guys are looking forward to it as well! 


Top Picture Source – Screen Australia (Jasper Jones Film Image)


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