Matthew Moore’s THE AMBER AMULET (2013) – Review


What makes a hero?


Director Matthew Moore‘s THE AMBER AMULET (2013) centers around a ten-year-old boy named Liam (Ed Oxenbould) goes above and beyond to rescue a troubled woman (Genevieve Hegney) in his neighborhood. Based on Craig Silvey‘s novella of the same name, The Amber Amulet won awards including nominations for Best Narrative Short at the 2014 Nashville Film Festival and Best Short Film at the 2013 Melbourne International Film Festival. This picturesque, beautifully written and acted short feature asks and answers an important question of all of us: are you happy?


This otherwise ordinary boy, who outfits himself in a belt comprised of a collection of stones and crystals of power, red cape and mask, accomplish the extraordinary. Liam (Oxenbould) and his beagle steal away in the cover of darkness and complete necessary tasks. He sets a neighbor’s trash bin on the curb for pick-up and rescues a child’s bike from the street, returning it to the safety of the owner’s front yard. What the masked avenger hadn’t counted on involving himself in very real and complex situation. He overhears a domestic dispute in the home of Joan (Hegney), and places in her mailbox a small questionnaire that asks “are you unhappy.” The next night, the masked avenger retrieves his questionnaire and its unfortunate response: yes. Liam soon discovers that it isn’t just bravery, but sacrifice is what makes a “real hero.”

However, the caveat to heroism is that it is a lonely business to be in. Heroes must hide their “good deeds” from others for fear of being found out or taken advantage of. Still, I’d like to believe that there is a hero in all of us. Regardless of how busy we often are we are still able to put someone else’s needs ahead of our own. This is the real message that The Amber Amulet successfully conveys. That people sometimes don’t realize just how unhappy they are until they are asked.


Director: Matthew Moore
Writer(s): Genevieve Hegney and Matthew Moore
Starring: Ed Oxenbould, Genevieve Hegney, Eliza Logan and Nash Edgerton.
Region: Australia
Runtime: 23 min

Art and supplementary materials courtesy ©2014 of the YEAR OF THE RABBIT FILMS. All rights reserved.

  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3 stars
  • Good

  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: 2015-01-09

Review Summary:

At just ten years old, The Masked Avenger makes it his mission to rescue his neighbor from the perils of unhappiness.

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