Storyline: JASPER JONES is a 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 Wishart, Charlie’s life is changed forever. Entrusted with this secret and believing Jasper to be innocent, Charlie embarks on a dangerous journey to find the true killer. Set over the scorching summer holidays of 1969, Charlie defeats the local racists, faces the breakup of his parents and falls head over heels in love as he discovers what it means to be truly courageous.
Official Trailer – www.imdb.com/video/vi1657648665/
I found this film on the Roku channel. It was under the heading of “Coming of Age.” I was young once and appreciate the steps involved in becoming a grown up, even though there are many grownups who have never completed the steps.
Jasper Jones review – enchanting coming-of-age film could be Australia’s Stand by Me – Luke Buckmaster
“Charlie also navigates the challenges of pubescent life, including managing interactions with a girl he fancies (Angourie Rice) and dealing with his parents. Dan Wyllie plays Charlie’s mild-mannered father and Toni Collette – terrific as always, with broad range of emotions to play with – his hard-nosed mother, for whom small-town life is constraining and dull.”
Jasper Jones seeks out a much younger teen to help him out of an untenable situation. Since he’s mixed race, he knows that he will be accused of killing her. I wondered why; it didn’t feel right that an older teenager would seek help from a much younger teenager, but we soon see the reasons why. It’s 1969, Jasper is mixed race while Charlie is white, and if you are not white you are suspect of anything and everything. Much like parts of today’s world.
Soon we have three teens and three families suffering. The teens seem more adult and caring than their families.
Charlie has an over-protective mother (Toni Collette) who is bored and more interested in herself than her son or husband. The father (Dan Wyllie) is focused on his nearly completed book, but can’t turn his attention to the problems at home. Their relationship is a house of cards about to fall apart.
Eliza Wishart (Angourie Rice) is the youngest daughter in the Wishart family. Like Charlie, she is an avid reader and perhaps the only grown-up in her family. Their family has already fallen apart, they just don’t know it, yet.
Although the story centers on Jasper Jones, his troubles and his loneliness, he turns out to be the only winner.
I enjoyed the entire film. It’s re-watching material. Like most other Australian films, the countryside is interesting, the people believable, and the story . . . compelling. And, of course, there’s Toni Collette.