Oranges and Sunshine

  • 15
  • Jim Loach (2010)
  • Aus / UK
  • 100 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Don't be misled by the deliberately ironic title, which comes from the false promise made to children in care in the UK in the 1940s and 50s, who were forcibly shipped to Australia (and other outposts of Empire) for a "better life" in Paradise. Emily Watson, an actress defined by serious, difficult roles, plays the Nottingham social worker, Margaret Humphreys, who exposed the scandal many years later when she discovered adults who'd in fact been put into slave labour, some believing their parents were dead. Directed by feature debutant Jim Loach - who in terms of political expedience and passion is a credit to his father, Ken - this often painful drama makes good, comparative use of locations in sun-bleached Adelaide and the grey East Midlands, and will swell your heart with indignation (Ken Loach's collaborator on Ladybird, Ladybird, Rona Munro, writes this moving screenplay) over an institutional crime that seems unthinkable. (As Watson's character says, "Why has no one ever heard about it?").

Plot Summary

Historical drama starring Emily Watson and Hugo Weaving. Nottingham, 1986: in the course of her job as a social worker, Margaret Humphreys uncovers details of the enforced deportation of British children to Australia over many decades. But it's only when Margaret goes to a migrants' reunion that the full scale of the scandal becomes apparent.

Cast and crew

Cast

Margaret Humphreys
Emily Watson
Jack
Hugo Weaving
Len
David Wenham
Pauline
Tara Morice
Bill
Stuart Wolfenden
Nicky
Lorraine Ashbourne
Vera
Kate Rutter
Merv
Richard Dillane
Susie
Aisling Loftus

Crew

Director
Jim Loach

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Icon
Guidance: 
Swearing.
Available on DVD
Released 1 Apr 2011
Certificate 15
Distributor:
Icon
Categories
Drama