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Opal Dream

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This slightly quirky dramedy is a winsome family film, adapted by Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty) from Ben Rice's novella. Pobby and Dingan are the imaginary playmates of young Kellie Ann (Sapphire Boyce), who lives with her family in Australia's dusty Lightning Ridge opal-mining region. When Pobby and Dingan go missing, Kellie Ann's torment prompts her older brother to "find" them. It's potentially tricky subject matter that Opal Dream wraps effectively in the warm hearts and matter-of-factness that the hardscrabble outback folk are noted for. The acting is natural (sweet-eyed Boyce is somewhat reminiscent of Dakota Fanning), and while the setting and characters are colorful, they never fall to mockery or parody. Opal Dream is about children growing up, but it's also a reminder about keeping dreams -- whether they're two perfect invisible friends or a get-rich-quick opal find -- trimmed down to size, lest they detract from the good parts of one's real life. Regent Square (AH)

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