THE NEW BOY
Warwick Thornton’s (SAMSON AND DELILAH, HIFF 2010; WE DON’T NEED A MAP, HIFF 2017) Cannes-selected THE NEW BOY stars Cate Blanchett and newcomer Aswan Reid in a beguiling story of spirituality and survival set in 1940s Australia. In an exhilarating start to the film, a brave Aboriginal boy (Reid) is engaged in a fight with a lone police officer, fighting with all his might, and knocking him off his horse. Eventually subdued, he is sent off to a remote monastery – and home to orphaned boys – run by Sister Eileen (Blanchett), who we soon learn is unconventional to say the least. However, she has a calming effect on the new boy. An attempt at bullying the new boy falls flat, and he soon becomes an established, unique presence at the monastery. But he possesses unusual powers, and as Sister Eileen’s religious zeal intensifies, things begin to unravel. A film of great symbolism and impact, THE NEW BOY is both intoxicating and magical.