Setting is a small country town (pic was shot in Braidwood, NSW) in 1962. Danny (Noah Taylor) and Freya (Loene Carmen) have been friends from childhood: his parents run the local pub, hers the local cafe. Danny is confused and troubled because Freya, though she’s the same age he is, is maturing far more rapidly. She falls heavily for Trev (Ben Mendelsohn), an older, hyperactive football coach.
Things turn out badly: Freya gets pregnant, Trev gets into trouble with the law. Danny tries to help his friends, but an old scandal involving Freya’s mother, who died giving birth to her, surfaces causing more distress.
All of this is handled by John Duigan, who penned the original screenplay, with insight and under-statement. The characters are memorable ones, and beautifully played by the three young newcomers, with Noah Taylor especially effective as the lovesick Danny. Supporting roles are played by a fine roster of familiar Aussie thesps.