A Maori girl (Keisha Castle-Hughes) defies her grandfather (Rawiri Paratene) and 1,000 years of tradition to prove she can lead their tribe.
" It's enough to make you think people really can talk to whales. "
" A film of elegant simplicity that seamlessly combines reality and mythology. It's also one of the year's most beautiful films. "
" Newcomer Castle-Hughes' unaffected, confident turn makes it credible our heroine might retain her determination and self-worth despite serial setbacks. "
" A story that J.K. Rowling fans young and old will savor. "
" A thoughtful, vivid spiritual coming-of-age story that transcends its particular cultural context. "
" Niki Caro roots her characters in a landscape equal parts mundane and boundless, incorporates tantalising sea photography and Lisa's Gerrard's ambient soundtrack, and lifts off into a sublime, Elysian ending. "
" The filmmaker knows how to seduce an audience without making it feel had. When a movie's this likable, it would take a very tough crowd not to be pleased. "
" A whale of a tale. "
" The genius of the movie is the way is sidesteps all of the obvious cliches of the underlying story and makes itself fresh, observant, tough and genuinely moving. "
" A whopping good yarn. "
" The most effective and moving female empowerment movie in awhile. "
" At its transporting best, Whale Rider seesaws between archetype and innocence -- it's a re-founding myth that happens in real time, before an audience's wondering eyes. "
" Features one of the finest child performances in years. "
" There is magic here, enough to make Whale Rider worthy of the audience-choice awards it has earned at film festivals worldwide. "
" Watching this delightful film, one can see why it has been winning audience favorite awards at film festivals. "
" Whale Rider is one of those book-me -a-ticket yesterday movies. "
" You leave the theater feeling as if you've encountered another culture and drawn inspiration from it. "
" [The story] is so simple that the audience gets ahead of it from the beginning. "
" Refuses to get its toes wet, instead retreating into goody-goody fantasy. "
" The film is closer to a feminist tract. And, like all propaganda, it wants to do all of your thinking for you. "
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