Directed: Peter Cattaneo
Country: Australia, UK
Genre: Drama, Family
Pobby and Dingan live in the opal capitol of Australia. They are friends with Kellyanne Williamson, the daughter of a miner - but only Kellyanne can see them. Pobby and Dingan are imaginary. Kellyanne's brother Ashmol, thinks his sister should grow up and stop being such a fruit-loop - until the day when Pobby and Dingan disappear, the same day that his father is accused of ratting, the worst sin an opal miner can commit.
As Kellyanne, grief-stricken, begins to fade away, Ashmol recruits the whole town in the search for Pobby and Dingan. In the end, however, he discovers that only he can find them, and he can only find them if he too begins to believe they are real. Opal Dream is an enchanting, funny and profoundly moving story.
Movie ReviewsBased on this description alone, I can see how many of you may be willing to write off “Opal Dream” as an especially cloying children’s film and for a while, I was feeling that way myself. And yet, even though it dances on the edge of utter smarminess, it never tips completely in that direction because of the relatively light and surprisingly realistic touch that Cattaneo brings to the material. Instead of giving us a hissable villain and clueless parents, for example, we are given characters whose behavior is perfectly acceptable under the circumstances–we can see why the miner might make the accusations of claim-jumping and we can understand why Kellyanne’s parents are trying to get her to play with flesh-and-blood people with the enthusiasm that she brings to her imaginary friends.
Even more impressive is the manner in which the film deals with the whole Pobby-Dingan situation–without giving anything away, the final third of the film is an impressive balancing act that never allows the material to devolve into pure fantasy while maintaining the possibility that the two may not be just figments of Kellyanne’s imagination after all.
“Opal Dream” isn’t a perfect film by any means–some of the opening scenes are a little too cute for their own good and I could have lived without any of the courtroom scenes that do nothing more than distract from the main storyline. However, it does have a sweet spirit and it soon becomes clear that it has more on its mind than trying to sell toys and Happy Meals to audiences. Instead, “Opal Dream” is a family-oriented film that doesn’t merely play lip-service to the power of imagination–it actually demonstrates some of its own.