Directed by Cate Shortland, starring Abbie Cornish, Sam Worthington, Lynette Curran and Hollie Andrew.
Writer-director Cate Shortland's first feature film is sometimes very visually beautiful, but lacks enough depth where the story is concerned.
Abbie Cornish plays Heidi, a girl in her teens, though we're never told her exact age, who leaves home after making a pass at her mother's boyfriend. A previous encounter prompts her to travel to Jindabyne in Australia's Snowy Mountains, but once there, her acquaintance denies knowledge of her and she finds she has nowhere to go.
After spending the night with a stranger who is leaving for Sydney the next day, she meets Joe Cameron (Worthington), a local farmer who seems to be looking for something different. They begin a sexual relationship, but Joe soon finds that Heidi is more innocent than she appears and that she's really looking for a man to love and take care of her, while he's unsure of his feelings.
Cornish is particularly good as the naïve-yet-experienced Heidi, a character who is both femme fatale and innocent, her liking for rhymes and telling lies proving how childlike she still is, despite her sexual knowledge. However well drawn Heidi is though, Joe's character is a baffling mystery. That he's attracted to Heidi is clear, but we're never sure why that is, particularly when we realise that he doesn't really know what he wants.
Sam Worthington does well with a character that's not very well developed, but 'Somersault' suffers greatly for this ambiguity. There are some stunning cinematic images and magical uses of colour, but the tale is ultimately unsatisfying.