Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger (2008)

PG-13   |    |  Comedy, Drama


Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger (2008) Poster

A coming-of-age story about a 13-year-old girl trying to fit into both a posh private school and an ordinary public school.


6.3/10
1,338

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  • Keisha Castle-Hughes and Danielle Catanzariti in Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger (2008)
  • Keisha Castle-Hughes and Danielle Catanzariti in Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger (2008)
  • Keisha Castle-Hughes and Danielle Catanzariti in Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger (2008)
  • Danielle Catanzariti in Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger (2008)
  • Danielle Catanzariti in Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger (2008)
  • Danielle Catanzariti in Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger (2008)

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9 March 2008 | demitrijames
8
| Classic coming of age film that everyone can relate to
Hey Hey it's Esther Blueburger is a cool flick telling the story of a young teenage girl's attempts to fit in. Esther, played wonderfully by the pixie like Danielle Cantanzariti, is trapped in a life of non-recognition by an idiosyncratic family and the lonely side of classic school yard tribal exclusion that everyone has experienced.

After befriending local girl Sunni, (Keisha Castle Hughes of Whale Rider fame), Blueburger begins a double life that is both laugh out loud funny and touching as she looks for her place in the world.

I saw Danielle & Keisha at the Sydney premiere and they are even cuter in person than on film. Danielle, although diminutive in size, projects large on screen & Keisha has a certain star power, especially on camera, which is undeniable. It's amazing that both Keisha (in Whale Rider) and Danielle in 'Esther' have been plucked from obscurity to give such fantastic debut performances especially seeing as both were in their early teens at the time. They are supported ably by their on screen parents (Essie Davis & Russell Dykstra) and Sunni's mum, Toni Colette who plays a character which is the anti-thesis of Esther's 'normal' parents, a source of fascination & enchantment for Esther.

There's something about wanting to be in with the cool kids and the lengths we go to to do that that we all recognise. It's part of growing up and becoming the person you are. That's what makes this film funny, beautiful, and sad at the same time.

This is an excellent film by first time writer & director Cathy Randall & I loved it. It's great to see talented writers and film-makers in Australia being given a chance & supported in an industry where much talent goes unnoticed and is usually substituted for 'celebrity'. It's definitely one of the better films to come out of Australia in recent years. Do yourself a favour and see this film. It's definitely not 'normal'!

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Did You Know?

Trivia

To bring this film to life in all its humour and humanness, the filmmakers knew they would need to find the heart of their movie, and so it was that they set out on a long, challenging hunt for their Esther Blueberger. They knew the role was going to be no easy bill to fill, because the character isn't really like any other young heroine. She had to possess both innocence and a chutzpah, both high anxiety and naturally sweet spirit, both a sense of the ridiculous and a dash of the courageous. Writer-director Cathy Randall didn't know exactly what she would look like, but she knew she would know the right Esther when she saw her, so the team began scouring the whole of Australia. Over a period of four months, Randall, Stein and casting agent Anousha Zarkesh travelled to every Australian state capital across the large island nation, viewing thousands upon thousands of teen hopefuls in open auditions. Randall confessed: "It was an incredibly rigorous search, but we just knew this person had to be exceptional. The character is in every scene, so whoever played her had to be able to carry the film. I was adamant that we search far and wide until we found the right Esther." Stein laughed: "At times I wasn't sure we could keep going. As the producer, I was watching the budget and kept hoping, 'surely we must be getting close'." Then, at long last, came the breakthrough the filmmakers had been waiting for. A fourteen year-old girl called Danielle Catanzariti showed up "at a cattle call audition in Adelaide, the place I least expected to find her. She walked in and it was love at first sight. I knew instantly she was Esther", recalled Randall.


Quotes

Sunni: How do you Rowan girls tell each other apart?
Esther Blueburger: Serial numbers!


Goofs

When Jacob and Esther are pretending to be their parents at the dining table and Jacob slides the salt and pepper towards Esther, in the next shot the salt and pepper are seen passing each other going in different directions.


Soundtracks

6/8
Written by
Amandah Wilkinson (as A. Wilkinson)
Performed by Operator Please

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Comedy | Drama

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