Oranges and Sunshine (2010) Review

Verdict: Slow-moving

Good portrayals, but slow progress.


Margaret Humphreys (Emily Watson) works as a Social Worker, and is one day approached by a random woman on the street who asks for her help. The woman is searching for her real identity, saying she was sent to Australia as as child and has no documentation of who she or her family is. In one of the support groups Humphreys’ runs, Nicky (Lorraine Ashbourne) tells of her brother, Jack (Hugo Weaving) whom she reconnected with and turns out to be one of the thousands of children deported from Britain in the 1960’s. Based on the book,”Empty Cradles”containing true accounts written by Margaret Humphreys. Directed by Jim Loach.

The film took awhile to start off, and I almost switched it off. When I found out that it is based on a real story though, I got more intrigued. But, this was only possible when I decided to search it up on Google. A film that needs more explaining , and is better understood from the internet than from watching the film, makes it a hard watch. I would have guessed that it is made from a British company, but apparently it is from an Australian company. The reason I say this, is because American cinema likes to exaggerate and blow things out of proportion, while British films tend to be more subtle which also makes it hard to keep up with sometimes.

In addition to the slow start of the film, I had a hard time comprehending the speech from some characters. Especially from Weaving, and the male characters in the film, who tended to murmur with their low voices. I couldn’t catch what they said, and also, was not really that bothered by it. I didn’t feel like I missed much, but only towards the end of the film did I realize I had missed some key elements. Again, this was rectified by online sources.

However, there is a pretty strong cast. Watson shows her character’s tenacity and dedication well, with good supports from her husband, played by Richard Dillane. Another notable character, would be Len (David Wenham) who we find has many depths to him – that of which I am also unsure of. Thinking back, I did not get much of the film, but just the overall picture.

While it is a good watch in that it made me aware of the situation that happened, and that is still ongoing, the film just progressed too slowly for my taste. I also noticed that there is very limited background music for certain scenes. This definitely makes the audience more aware of their own time and space, making scenes dry and unfinished.

To sum-up:
PROS: Portrayal, story
CONS: Too slow, murmuring, lack of background musicĀ 

I give this a 6/10.

Have you seenĀ Oranges and Sunshine? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!


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