Customer Review

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understated, But Effective: A Powerful And Disturbing True Life Story Of Corruption, Cover-up, Abuse And Exploitation, June 21, 2012
This review is from: Oranges and Sunshine [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The subject matter of "Oranges and Sunshine" is almost too disturbing to be believed. And yet, remarkably, it is the true recounting of one of the largest scandals of the last few decades. In 1986, a British social worker named Margaret Humphreys started to piece together an amazing and harrowing story that involved the mass deportation of children from the United Kingdom to Australia. What she discovered was simply stunning. The scandal involved political corruption and cover-up, religious impropriety, human rights violations, slave labor, systematic abuse and a government program that divided hundreds of families and disappeared countless minor children. This is such a grand and epic tale, it's hard to imagine that a film discussing these atrocities wouldn't be aggressively in-your-face. But the beauty of "Oranges and Sunshine" is that it takes a quieter approach and as things start to unfold, the dramatic weight of the situation really sneaks up on you and bowls you over!

A restrained Emily Watson plays Humphreys, a woman who didn't ask to be thrust into a worldwide spotlight. In the beginning of the film, she is approached by a woman for help finding her parents. This is when she firsts hears about children being shipped to Australia. Initially reticent and disbelieving, she soon hears a corroboration of this tale. She starts to dig deeper and push further, working between the U.K. and Australia to start repairing families. It consumes her life and livelihood, but she is pushed by a sense of justice. As word gets out, she is a savior to many but an embarrassment to others. And as the unfolding allegations put many important figures in an unfavorable light, she is soon discredited by many and attacked (both emotionally and physically). But as the investigation perseveres, there is soon no use denying the truth.

Watson is so reserved to begin with, it is quite powerful to see the strain start to shatter her existence. It's a great performance in that it is completely underplayed and, therefore, all the more believable. Directed by Jim Loach (son of award winner Ken Loach), the film also boasts impressive support by David Wenham and Hugo Weaving. Both Weaving and Watson picked up actor accolades from Australian Film Critics Circle. As I watched the movie unravel fairly simply, I was sure I was going to give it four stars as a solid exploration of an unfathomable event. But then the magnitude and emotion really hit me in the concluding scenes and I realized just how well constructed the film actually was. With a minimum of histrionics, sentimentality, or moralizing, the screenplay and the actors really gets under your skin. And, in the end, I was deeply affected by "Oranges and Sunshine" because it didn't go for all the big expected moments. Understatement done extremely well! KGHarris, 6/12.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.5 out of 5 stars (75 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (48)
4 star:
 (22)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
$34.95 $26.53
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: StudioCityGuy33 at Yahoo dot com

Top Reviewer Ranking: 21