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This proves hard to do when his pregnant mother Maggie (Toni Collette) is forced onto bed rest and his father Simon (Erik Thomson) puts him in charge of Charlie.Almost immediately Charlie causes more than his usual share of trouble.He's turning 16, and his autistic brother Charlie embarrasses him. When his pregnant mother (Toni Collette) is confined to bed rest, he is put in charge of Charlie (Luke Ford) and with the help of his new girlfriend Jackie (Gemma Ward), Thomas faces his biggest challenge yet.The Black Balloon is funny and ultimately heart-warming.Toni Collette (who also serves as one of the film's producers) and Gemma Ward in The Black Balloon (Neo Classics Films) The acting is all fine.But only Wakefield's Thomas feels fully grounded in the real world, and struggling with real problems.Collette also serves as one of the film's producers.
They have just moved to a new neighborhood and are trying to cope with the autism of their 17-year old son Charlie (Luke Ford).
In particular, Jackie seems a little too ready to accept all the problems of dating a boy with an autistic brother.
The film ends on a note of bright cheeriness but steers just clear of saccharine ickiness -- but only barely.
The story focuses more on Thomas rather than Charlie, for he is the one who has to grow by facing the frustration and resentment he has felt toward Charlie all of his life.
The film was written and directed by first-time feature director Elissa Down, who draws on her own experience of having two brothers with autism.The film shows that it's not easy and Charlie is not always a charming chap.