The Reel Review

A-

When June Wilton has a sudden moment of lucidity from her dementia, she breaks out of her nursing home and sets out to repair the rift within her family, save the family business and reconnect with her long-lost love, in this Australian dramedy starring Noni Hazlehurst.

Noni Hazlehurst and Claudia Karvan in June Again.

Writer/director JJ Winlove borrows bits from several films for his feature film debut – among them: Flowers for Algernon, The Father, Awakenings, Trip to Bountiful and one that can’t be mentioned for fear of spoiling the film’s moving ending. Hazlehurst, as the headstrong June, is dazzling, with a strong supporting cast that includes Claudia Karvan and Stephen Curry and showcases a moving score.

Noni Hazlehurst, Claudia Karvan and Stephen Curry in June Again.

June Again is that rare film that is able to be heartfelt and sentimental while remaining grounded in realism. It’s a charming, feel-good story about second chances and how one person’s determination can make a difference in the lives of many. And that ending – wow. Have tissues handy.

REEL FACTS

• Moments of lucidity among those with dementia is common and can last from minutes to days. Music is sometimes a contributing factor. Terminal lucidity, where someone with dementia becomes lucid just days before dying, is estimated to happen in 10% of those with dementia.

June Again was nominated for four Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) awards, winning one for Best Score.

Noni Hazlehurst with the cast of June Again.

• Melbourne-born Noni Hazlehurst has had starring roles in Australian films since the 1980s. Recent film roles include Truth, The Broken Shore and Ladies in Black.  

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