Danielle Catanzariti sees Hollywood from down under

a duck, talks to God through the toilet and break-dances at her bat
mitzvah." In other words, Hey! Hey! It’s Esther Blueburger

is my kind of movie.

Replace the sprinkles with
braces and you’ve almost got a younger Betty Suarez. The story is a
little Betty-like, too. Danielle Catanzariti makes her film debut as Esther, a 13-year-old Jewish girl
who doesn’t fit in at her private girls’ school — or with her family. And
she’s nervous about her bat mitzvah.

Things start to change for
Esther when she meets Sunni, played by Whale Rider‘s Keisha
, the "tough girl" at the local public school.

Esther decides to switch from
private school to public school — without telling her mom — and reinvents
herself, with help from Sunni and her mother, Mary, played by the wonderful Toni Collette. Here’s the trailer.

If I wasn’t convinced before,
seeing Collette on a motorcycle makes this film a must-see. It opens
in Australia in March; hopefully we’ll see it in the U.S. soon after.

Although this is Catanzariti’s
first movie, she has been a stage actress in Australia for several years.
In fact, Cate Blanchett handpicked her to star in Blackbird, which
Blanchett is directing for the Sydney Theater Company. The play is getting good reviews from critics, despite its controversial
subject matter, pedophilia. Catanzariti’s next film appearance will
be in Elise, with Natalie Imbruglia, and she’s hoping a Hollywood career is on the horizon.
With a start like this, I doubt she’ll have to wait for long.