Born and raised on an Australian sheep ranch, Tommy (Luke Arnold) dreams of becoming a great musician. Everything changes, though, when his antics to impress his beautiful classmate Kat (Alexa Vega) backfire and land them both in trouble. But after auditioning for an elite music academy, Tommy is given the second chance he needs to win Kat’s affection, his father’s approval and the opportunity of a lifetime.
Audio commentary with Writer / Director Dagen Merrill, Producer Chris Wyatt and Alexa Vega.
A handsome high-school senior aspires to become a classical composer in this tuneful drama. Tommy (Luke Arnold, who recalls Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel) lives on an Australian sheep ranch with his widowed father, George (Timothy Hutton), a stern soccer coach, and nurses a crush on exchange student Kat (Alexa Vega, Spy Kids
), who barely knows he exists. One night, Tommy and George come across escaped convict Kalae (Che Timmons) on their drive home. They turn the unconscious man over to the police, and get on with their lives. Later, when Kat finds out that Tommy has access to a truck, she convinces him to chauffeur her around during a night of vandalism, which lands him in jail, where he reconnects with Kalae, who tells him about a prison choir. Upon Tommy's release, he convinces Kat to help him form a convict band in order to fulfill their community service requirement and to facilitate his entrance into Sydney's prestigious Music Conservatorium. At first, the inexperienced duo attract only two participants, but other inmates eventually materialize, and as their repertoire takes shape, Kat's hard shell softens. Unfortunately, Tommy has to cancel their performance at Broken Hill when a prisoner goes missing, but Kat and the other players convince him to try again. The conclusion feels more like wish fulfillment than a realistic outcome, but director Dagen Merrill does depict Tommy's daydreams at times, so it seems rather fitting. Extra features include commentary from Merrill, producer Chris Wyatt, and a sleepy Vega. --Kathleen C. Fennessy