Breath

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Australia | 2017 | 115 minutes | Simon Baker

Two Australian teens in the 1970s discover the liberating world of surfing and find a mentor in an enigmatic big wave rider ("The Mentalist" star Simon Baker, making his directorial debut) who pushes them to take increasingly dangerous risks, from the novel by Tim Winton.  Ages 17+

"Like Winton's novel, the film is unpretentiously profound, with a very Australian (and very cinematic) regard for allowing natural beauty to speak for itself." Luke Buckmaster - The Guardian

The camera has long had a love affair with surfing's death-defying acrobatics, but rarely has the lifestyle survived the demands of gripping drama on dry land. Breath, based on Aussie author Tim Winton's 2008 novel, breaks through the clichés of the "Zen of surfing" genre to tell a naturally acted coming-of-age story about budding masculinity, set in the 1970s on the wild beaches of Western Australia. The narrative centers on 13-year-old Bruce (Samson Coulter), whom his friends know as "Pikelet," and his daredevil best mate, "Loonie" (Ben Spence). When the boys first catch a glimpse of surfers riding monster waves, they become instantly hooked. Soon the teens' enthusiasm is noted by a crusty, enigmatic "surfie" named Sando (Simon Baker, from the American TV series, "The Mentalist"), who takes the kids under his wing. But tensions mount as Loonie and Sando take increasingly risky chances on the deadly waves, leaving Pikelet behind, where he learns other life lessons with Sando's unhappy girlfriend, Eva (Elizabeth Debicki). In his feature directorial debut, Baker plays the polar opposite of his TV persona, with a scruffy beard and an air of melancholy. Told with voiceover narration from author Winton himself, the film hews closely to its source material with the dreamlike underwater cinematography from Rick Rifici, and sun-drenched honey hues from Marden Dean on land.

Director Biography

Born in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, Simon Baker is an Australian actor and director. He is most known for his role in the CBS television series "The Mentalist" (2008-2015) as Patrick Jane, as well as his role in The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Though an Australian actor, Baker was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013. His star can be found at 6352 Hollywood Boulevard.

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  • Director: Simon Baker
  • Principal Cast: Samson Coulter, Ben Spence, Simon Baker, Elizabeth Debicki, Richard Roxburgh
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: Australia
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 115 minutes
  • Producer: Simon Baker, Jamie Hilton, Mark Johnson
  • Screenplay: Simon Baker, Gerard Lee
  • Cinematographers: Marden Dean, RIck Rifici
  • Editors: Dany Cooper
  • Music: Harry Gregson-Williams
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: FilmRise