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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Ned Kelly (review)

The story of Australian cult figure Kelly — a 19th-century Robin Hood–esque outlaw, child of an underclass of Irish immigrants — is a tricky film, punctuated by bursts of staccato surrealism and bitter humor, hard to love unreservedly but easy to appreciate for its ambition. Heath Ledger (The Order) finds a wary, cautious groove as Kelly; neither he nor the film can fully embrace the concept of the romantic criminal, and that’s a good thing. This may be the first film of its kind not to accept unquestioningly the righteousness of its antihero, and so the first to acknowledge the paradox of their legend.

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Ned Kelly (2003) | directed by Gregor Jordan
US/Can release: Mar 26 2004
UK/Ire release: Sep 26 2003

MPAA: rated R for violence and brief nudity
BBFC: rated 15 (contains infrequent strong violence)

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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