Michael Kingley (Geoffrey Rush) is a successful retired businessman and grandfather. When he starts to see images from his past that he can't explain, he is forced to remember his long-forgotten childhood, growing up on an isolated coastline with his father. He recounts to his grand-daughter the story of how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an extraordinary orphaned pelican, Mr Percival. Their remarkable adventures and very special bond has a profound effect on all their lives.
Review by Louise Keller: Simply unforgettable! With its themes of nurturing, love and survival, this beautiful film is one you must not miss. Adapted from Colin Theile's classic novel about a young boy's friendship with a pelican, Storm Boy feels as fresh as it did when it was written in 1964. Justin Monjo's uncluttered storytelling reveals a tale about passion, love for the environment and taking a stand for the issues about which we care. Gorgeous sunsets, magnificent skies, mirror clear waters and a pristine beach that extends forever are some imagery, but the film is one that relies on emotions. Needless to say, it is Mr Percival the pelican who captures our heart, along with the little boy (Finn Little is remarkable), whose unbridled love for the bird he nurtured as a baby transcends the screen. Involving and profoundly moving, this is a film for the whole family.
Any story that is good has to go wrong before it gets better, says Geoffrey Rush's Michael Kingley to his grand daughter Maddie (Morgana Davies, excellent). He is telling her about his life as a boy and the circumstances in which Mr Percival becomes his best friend. Rush has never been better. There are three key characters: Michael (Little), his father Hideaway Tom (Jai Courtney, perfect) and David Gulpilil as Fingerbone Bill, the Aboriginal who befriends the young boy and teaches him to respect the land - and the creatures that live on it. The young Michael's story plays out in flashback, although the way the present and the past intersect towards the film's end is beautifully realized.
Comical moments are intertwined with the poignant; watch for the scene when Michael plays hide and seek with Mr Percival. It's hilarious. There is an extraordinary rescue mission involving a hat, a fish-hook and rope that will have you watching in disbelief. That is the moment that everything changes. Don't forget to take a tissue - the story about the little boy and the pelican with which he does everything is one that will move you forever. This is a film to love. I want to see it again.