“An undisciplined mind is the devil’s playground.”
An Australian boy (Simon Burke) comes of age at a Catholic boarding school in the 1950s.
This episodic coming-of-age tale by Australian director Fred Schipisi is inaccurately marketed as a sensationalized tale of sexuality — indeed, the DVD cover features a strategically-chosen, non-representative still which immediately evokes the threat of pedophilia. In actuality, this subject is never dealt with; instead, the priests in Devil’s Playground are portrayed as well-meaning, eminently human, and (for the most part) kind. (One particularly surprising scene shows two priests out on the town, tempted to pick up women they meet at a bar). While the narrative in The Devil’s Playground is concerned with sexuality — as is nearly every movie about adolescence — its portrayal is honest and multi-faceted rather than prurient. This remains a worthy entry in the vast coming-of-age genre.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Simone Burke’s appealing, natural performance
- A refreshingly humanizing look at priests
- A sensitive portrayal of male adolescence and sexuality
No, but it’s recommended.
Posted on May 19th, 2007 by admin
Filed under: Original Reviews