A gizmo from outer space enables a boy to transform his autistic elder sibling into the cool big brother he always wanted in cheap-but-cheerful Danish kid pic "SuperBrother."

A gizmo from outer space enables a boy to transform his autistic elder sibling into the cool big brother he always wanted in cheap-but-cheerful Danish kid pic “SuperBrother.” Fourth feature from helmer Birger Larsen (“Dance of the Polar Bears”) makes a laudable plea to be nice to autistic people, cannily sugar-coating its message with knock-about slapstick and whimsical sci-fi plot mechanics. Bargain-basement visual effects create a made-for-TV look that will confine “SuperBrothers” to the domestic market and maybe neighboring Scandi territories.

Ten-year-old Anton (Lucas Odin Clorius) lives with his single mom (Anette Stovelbaek) and teenage brother, Buller (Viktor Kruse Palshoj), who’s moderately autistic and frightened of everything. When a comet lands nearby, Anton and Buller find inside it a gun-like whatsit that turns Buller into a confident, seemingly neurotypical teen who can fly and do other neat stuff. Pic’s strongest suit is its moving portrait of how autism affects siblings, but irritatingly, the script sees the condition almost wholly negatively, as something to be cured rather than accepted and understood. The ending doesn’t quite satisfy, and tech credits are poor, but the younger thesps have charm, especially good-looking newcomer Clorius.

SuperBrother

Denmark

Production

A Nordisk Film Prod. production. (International sales: Trust Nordisk, Hvidovre, Denmark.) Produced by Ake Sandgren. Executive producer, Kim Magnusson. Directed by Birger Larsen. Screenplay, Ake Sandgren.

Crew

Camera (color, 16mm-to-35mm), Eric Kress; editor, Peter Brandt; music, Frans Bak; production designer, Peter de Neergaared; costume designer, Susie Bjornvad. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Generation Kplus), Feb. 16, 2010. Original title: SuperBror. Running time: 89 MIN.

With

With: Lucas Odin Clorius, Viktor Kruse Palshoj, Anette Stovelbaek, Andrea Reimar, Nicolai Borch Kelstrup.
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