At sixteen, Heidi is feeling her way in the world through brief sexual encounters. When she tries it on with her single mother's boyfriend and is sprung, she flees to the snow resort town of Jindabyne. Desperately attempting any connection possible, she meets Joe, the son of a local farmer who is caught up in his own world of confused sexuality. Winner of thirteen Australian Film Institute Awards in 2004.
Somersault is a real labour of love for Cate Shortland and every element in the film is carefully considered.
Abbie Cornish's performance as Heidi is gutsy and natural, and Sam Worthington as Joe, delivers a complex performance as well.
The cinematography is gorgeous, and the sound design is subtle. Keep your ears open for the lovely soundtrack by Sydney band Decoder Ring.
While the pace of the film may mean you'll need to be a patient viewer, the success of Somersault for me, is that by paring everything back, they've allowed the story to breathe and as a result Heidi's coming of age journey becomes even more meaningful.