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starring: julian dennison, minnie driver, james rolleston, and rhys darby

REVIEWER: nick tonkin

A 17-year-old is forced to make some choices about his life and stand up for himself, his whānau and his future.

Uproar is an excellently told coming-of-age story exploring a young person’s search for connection and direction amidst the setting of Dunedin during the 1981 Springbok tour. 


Writer/Directors Hamish Bennet and Paul Middleditch have crafted an affecting story brought to life by a fantastic cast. Julian Dennison (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Deadpool 2) leads as Josh Waaka, a young teenager struggling with change in the wider world and the hand it dealt his family.

Minnie Driver and James Rolleston both give wonderful performances in support as Josh’s struggling widower mother Shirley and former All Black brother Jamie, whose life was devastated by severe injury. Rhys Darby owns a well cast role as Brother Madigan, Josh’s teacher who encourages his latent acting ability, both for social reasons but also for self expression.


These wonderfully written roles, supported by further charming performances from familiar faces of the New Zealand Film and Television industry give Uproar a grounded sense of vibrancy and imbue it with real heart. 


Uproar enjoys an abundance of great performances, led by an excellent Julian Dennison, that explore convincingly a thoughtfully written story from writer/directors Hamish Bennet and Paul Middleditch.


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