The Black Balloon

Synopsis: Thomas is turning 16. His dad's in the army and they've just moved to a town in New South Wales; his mom is pregnant; his older brother, Charlie, who's autistic, has his own adolescent sexual issues. Thomas finds Charlie an embarrassment in public, so when Thomas is attracted to Jackie, a girl in his swim class, Charlie presents any number of obstacles when she drops by their house, when the three of them go for a walk, and during a family birthday dinner. Can Thomas find a way to enter the world of teen romance and still be his brother's keeper, or is Charlie's disability going to prove more than Thomas can handle?
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Elissa Down
Production: NeoClassics Films
  18 wins & 24 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
97 min

Thomas' Stuff

Are you right with that, darl?

- I might leave that one to you.

I'll take it.

Welcome home, Lucky. Again.

Just take it easy, all right?

Yeah I'm fine!

Why's your brother a spastic?

He's not a spastic. He's autistic.

Same diff.

No, not really.

He doesn't talk and shit.

Yes, he doesn't talk.

Then why does he make

all that fuckin' noise?

Hello, boys.

Where do you live?

G'day, mate!


Yeah, coming!

'Behaviour chart'

Simon, love? You'd better hurry up!

You're gonna be late!

I'm never late.

I see the afternoon shift is up.

Charlie? Medicine.

Here we go. Open up...

Good boy!

How many stars has he got now?

He's got seven stars. Haven't you?

Good boy.

Nine more means Super Nintendo!

Mum, can you pass the milk please?


Quick, Charlie! Charlie get out of it.

Would you to get out of it?

Come on, come on, get out of it, mate.

Come on get out of it.

Charlie, you get out of it!

Charlie, get out of there!

Just behave yourself, all right?

Hold on to him, love.

Come on, Charlie, just behave

yourself for your mum, right?


Up you get, up you get.

Are you all right?

I'll get you some ginger ale.

Bit icy, sweetheart.

Just get Charlie out of there, will you?

Just drink that, all right?

Come on, Charlie. Get out of there,

mate. Get out of there!

Hey, guys!

Oi, check it out! It's the spastic bus!

Jack, look. Is it that obvious?

Oh, my God.

How am I going to swim today?

Babbs is gonna kill me!

G'day, buddy. What's your name?

Um. Thomas.

I'm Dean.

Do you reckon I can borrow some?

Yeah, yeah. Go for it.


Hey, Bucko. Have you seen

the hickey on Sally's neck?

What, she's got a hickey?

Yeah, look. She's trying to

cover it up with her hair.

Steve said he put one on her tits.

What about Kylie's rack?

Man, I didn't even realise.

Check out the legs on Jackie!

No, I definitely prefer a decent set.

There will be no mucking around

in the pool area!

Sorry, miss.


We move on to the next module

for this term,

which is the bronze medallion.

Yep, some of you might actually

do something useful and

save a life one day.

Okay. Today we're going to be

hitting the pools for some laps.

Now they've had to super-chlorinate

the pools because of the heat...

so just keep your eyes closed and

there shouldn't be too many problems.

Where are your swimming trunks?


I um... I've got them on, miss.

How on earth do you expect

to swim in those?

So you brought nothing appropriate

for swimming?

What's your name?

Um, Thomas.

Thomas Mollison.

Yeah he's new, miss.

Well, Mollison, never mind.

We have contingencies for

situations like this.

Check it out! Check it out!

Ladies and Gentlemen-

the yellow dick stickers!

Hey, pin dick!

He's bigger than you, Bucko!

You'd be the one to know, Sally!

You're just jealous!

You can all take turns wearing them

if they get you that excited!

Now take your marks!

Oh, shit!

Get off the lane ropes, Mollison!

On your marks!

Watch out!

F*ck, you swim like a spastic!

You're not much better, Bucko!

Jackie just beat you twice.


Look at you. Eh?

Ha-ha, you cheeky monkey!

This musical's got to be

the lamest thing I've ever heard of.

I think it's cute.

It's nice they've included Charlie.

It's not cute. It's lame.

Half of them can't even talk,

let alone sing.

That's not the point, Thomas.

All right, now this is ready.

You just heat it up when

your brother and you are hungry

and well be back about eight.

Thank you.

No beer for you, Charlie. No beer.

Monkeys don't drink beer.

Hey, mum, with a roundabout,

Rate this script:(2.80 / 5 votes)

Elissa Down

Elissa Down is an Australian filmmaker. In 1999 and 2000 Elissa was nominated for Young Film-maker of the year at the WA Screen Awards. Her major works are a number of award-winning short films, Summer Angst, The Cherry Orchard, Her Outback, The Bathers, Pink Pyjamas, HMAS Unicorn and Samantha Stewart, aged fourteen. They have been screened at numerous festivals including Tampere, Locarno Aix-en-Provence, Montecatini, Milan, San Francisco Indie, St Kilda, Brisbane, Revelation, Women on Women, POV and Tropfest. These shorts have also been screened in theatres and broadcast nationally and overseas. Elissa was one of Australia's upcoming artists featured in the In Progress spread in Vogue (2005). Elissa Down's first feature film, the semi-autobiographical, The Black Balloon was released in Australian cinemas 6 March 2008. It stars Rhys Wakefield, Gemma Ward, Luke Ford, Erik Thomson and Academy Award Nominee Toni Collette. The Film was partially based on herself and family. The world premiere was at the Berlin International Film Festival in Germany in February 2008, where the film received a Crystal Bear as the best feature-length film in the Generation 14plus category. On 6 December 2008 Elissa Down was awarded the AFI Best DIrection in Film Award and AFI Best Original Screenplay Award for the Black Balloon. The film also won the L'Oreal Paris AFI Award for Best FIlm. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Curtin University. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Black Balloon" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Apr. 2021. <>.

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