Quirkily pitched though largely rather rote, this Australian family film manages nevertheless to achieve something special within its genre trappings.
Sam Worthington’s at his best since Somersault, bringing tender charm to his role as a depressed, bereaved dad; this strong emotional arc dovetails nicely with his son’s journey of enlightenment-cum-paper plane-making greatness. In this latter role, young Ed Oxenbould anchors the film with such talent that he deserves to be the new Tom Holland – his idiosyncrasies sell even the most mawkish of character beats, including an annoying habit of being the absolute golden boy. Still, very well played indeed.
Paper Planes hardly pushes the family film envelope, but fine acting and deft direction help stick the landing – nothing overly cloying about this genuine and immeasurably warm film.
CAST: Ed Oxenbould, Sam Worthington, David Wenham
DIRECTOR: Robert Connolly
WRITERS: Robert Connolly, Steve Worland
SYNOPSIS: A young Australian boy faces a number of challenges, both personal and aerodynamic, on his way to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships in Tokyo.