The sequel to John Duigan’s touching The Year My Voice Broke is noteworthy for two reasons. First, the Romeo and Juliet romance between geeky boarding school pupil Danny (Noah Taylor) and Ugandan Thandiwe (Thandie Newton), from the neighbouring girls’ school, is a genuinely sweet, cliché-free coming-of-age tale that succeeds in putting a fresh spin on well-worn material. Like a cross between The Wonder Years and Dead Poets Society, Flirting captures adolescent romance and institutional schooling with considerable warmth and charm. Second, Duigan showcases an impressive Midas touch by casting stars Newton, Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts when they were glints in Hollywood’s eye and there’s a certain pleasure to be found in seeing them snaggle-toothed and pudgy-faced. Sadly, though, there’s no behind-the-scenes footage or cast interviews for before-they-were-famous fans, which makes this a purchase for Kidman completists or admirers of Duigan’s light touch only.


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