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The End of the Golden Weather Review

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12-year-old Geoff, shuns his family, preferring to spend his summer in his fantasy world and hanging out with a local madman Firpo, who has dreams of being an Olympic Athlete. His world of make believe is shattered, however, by the realities of life and growing up.

★★★★★

This antipodean coming of age drama starts promisingly enough with eccentric character introductions and the visualisation of a child's imaginings (a walk home becomes a jungle safari), but rapidly takes root in the conventions of very average children's afternoon serials. Twelve-year-old Geoff (Fulford) is an impressionable dreamer who lives on a beautiful beach and is savouring a perfect summer until reality, reason and the pragmatic perceptions of adulthood break the magic spell he's woven for himself.

The focal point for this transition is the boy's relationship with a gawky madman. Stephen Papps, however, is unimpressive as the pitiful Firpo, a nutter-by-numbers, with his very presence and the nature of his mental problems too vaguely accounted for. Even given that Geoff might be drawn from his stolid family to complicity with a ridiculed outsider, Firpo never really rings true. Around this friendship, so lacking in the charm intended, the film busies itself with a prosaic father, obnoxious siblings, and all the period trappings and family parlour amusements of the pre-television era nostalgia piece

"Opened out" the film does not betray its origins as a one-man stage play, but its failure to captivate suggests that it might have been rather more persuasive in its original form.