GenreDrama, Fantasy Running time1h 45m CountryAustralia
Release date1994 WriterJohn Ruane, Jim Barton, Tim Winton (novel) Initial releaseSeptember 28, 1995 (Australia) Music directorJohn Phillips, David Bridie, Helen Mountfort CastJamie Croft (Morton 'Ort' Flack), Mark Fairall (Sam Flack), Lisa Harrow (Alice Flack), Amanda Douge (Tegwyn Flack), Peter Coyote (Henry Warburton), Alethea McGrath (Grammar Flack) Similar moviesJamie Croft appears in That Eye - the Sky and Joey
TaglineEvery night he looks up at the sky seeking an answer. But it takes a complete stranger and a miracle to change his life.
That Eye, the Sky is a 1986 novel by multi-award winning Australian author Tim Winton. It follows the young protagonist Morton 'Ort' Flack, as he struggles to cope with life in a small country town after his father is paralyzed a serious car accident. After his father's accident, Ort is forced to step up and become the 'Man' of an increasingly complicated household. The situation becomes all the more convoluted with the introduction of the mysterious Henry Watburn, a dubious figure who says he has come to help. The story explores coming-of-age, and the complicated role religion plays in rural Australian life.
The Publishers Weekly said of the book, "The wrenching story... proves love like Ort's can prevail against hell itself"
The Los Angeles Times writes that, "The great strength of the novel is in the way the grotesque contrasts and parallels in human life are spread out, examined and accepted."
The film adaptation was directed by John Ruane and released in 1994.
Ruane later said:
I think the mistake I made with That Eye, the Sky is not to have more humour in it, because the book had a lot of humour. But, unfortunately, with the novel being written in the first person, a lot of the humour comes from the little boy interpreting the events and the situations he finds himself in and that he observes. So we are party to his sense of humour via his inner thoughts. When you pull that away, you have to come up with an orthodox third person approach. I really wish we had come up with more humour.
The film was made by the company of Fred Schepisi who later claimed the film was bad:
Because the director didn't know what he was doing or what side he was on. You've got to take a side. He went on an exploration. An exploration is all right but you've got to do it from a point of view.
The book was adapted by Richard Roxburgh and Justin Monjo with the first performance at the New Theatre, 15 March to 16 April 2016. A review of the play described it as "...a dark and mysterious play anchored by a cast at the top of their game .. not an emotionally engaging play, but it is an interesting one".