Breath (2017 film)

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Theatrical film poster
Directed bySimon Baker
Screenplay byGerard Lee
Simon Baker
Tim Winton
Based onBreath by
Tim Winton
Produced byMark Johnson
Simon Baker
Jamie Hilton
StarringSimon Baker
Elizabeth Debicki
Samson Coulter
Ben Spence
Richard Roxburgh
CinematographyMarden Dean
Rick Rifici
Edited byDany Cooper
Music byHarry Gregson-Williams
Gran Via
See Pictures
Distributed byFilmRise
Release dates
  • 10 September 2017 (2017-09-10) (TIFF)
  • 1 June 2018 (2018-06-01) (United States)
Running time
116 minutes
Box office$3.2 million[1]

Breath is a 2017 Australian sports drama film based on novel of the same name by Tim Winton. It premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and the 2017 Zurich Film Festival, and was released on 1 June 2018 by FilmRise.


In the 1970s two teenage surfer boys, Pikelet and Loonie, growing up in a small town meet and form a connection with an older surfer named Sando, who challenges them to take greater and more dangerous risks.[2][3]



The film is the feature directorial debut of Simon Baker, who also acted in the film and produced it[4] with Mark Johnson and Australian Jamie Hilton. Johnson met Tim Winton in America where he was on a book tour and obtained an option on the book. Winton wrote the first screenplay with the final script by Gerard Lee, Baker and Winton.[2][5] Financing was provided by "the Australian art councils and... from Screen Australia to ScreenWest",[2] Great Southern Development Commission and Autumn Productions. The Western Australian Government contributed $2.3 million in a bid to promote the state as a premier filming location.[6]


Producer Mark Johnson said, "It's got universal themes—about being desperately afraid that you're ordinary, about being afraid as a young man that there's nothing exceptional about you—and I think that has great application in a universal way, but this is also a specifically Western Australian story".[2] Simon Baker's view is that "Tim's book viscerally captures the restless curiosity and yearning for identity that often defines our coming of age".[5]


The Western Australian coastal town of Denmark, part of the Great Southern region, is the location for filming.[6] For Tim Winton this was an ideal location; "The Great Southern region has had an enormous impact on my life and work so I'm very pleased this film is being shot on the beaches and streets and forests that inspired the book."[5]


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 80%, based on 50 reviews, and an average rating of 6.63/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "A coming of age drama with a surfing twist, Breath navigates seemingly familiar waters — but has surprising depth below the surface."[7] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 71 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]


Award Category Subject Result
AACTA Awards
Best Film Jamie Hilton Nominated
Mark Johnson Nominated
Simon Baker Nominated
Best Direction Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
Gerard Lee Nominated
Tim Winton Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Simon Baker Won
Best Supporting Actress Elizabeth Debicki Nominated
Best Cinematography Marden Dean Nominated
Rick Rifici Nominated
Best Editing Dany Cooper Nominated
Best Sound Jed Dodge Won
Trevor Hope Won
Mackenzie Won
Tara Webb Won


  1. ^ The Numbers
  2. ^ a b c d Windsor, Harry (23 March 2016). "Breath producer on Simon Baker tears and Tim Winton's 'extraordinary' novel". Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  3. ^ Tracks Magazine (1 December 2010). "Wanna be a movie star? Tim Winton's Breath needs actors". Tracks Magazine. Nextmedia. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Simon Baker to produce and direct film adaptation of Tim Winton's novel Breath". The Daily Telegraph. 12 April 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Maddox, Gary (12 April 2016). "Elizabeth Debicki, Richard Roxburgh join cast of Simon Baker's film Breath". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b Cinema Australia (10 July 2015). "Simon Baker to film Tim Winton's Breath in Denmark, WA". Cinema Australia. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Breath (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Breath Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 22 June 2018.

External links[edit]