Oranges and Sunshine

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Oranges and Sunshine
Oranges and Sunshine.jpg
Theatrical film poster
Directed by Jim Loach
Produced by
  • Camilla Bray
  • Iain Canning
  • Emile Sherman
Written by Rona Munro
Based on Empty Cradles by
Margaret Humphreys
Music by Lisa Gerrard
Cinematography Denson Baker
Edited by Dany Cooper
See-Saw Films
Sixteen Films
Distributed by Icon Film Distribution
Release dates
  • 8 October 2010 (2010-10-08) (PIFF)
  • 1 April 2011 (2011-04-01) (United Kingdom)
  • 9 June 2011 (2011-06-09) (Australia)
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $4.5 million
Box office $6,299,747[1]

Oranges and Sunshine is a 2010 drama film directed by Jim Loach with a screenplay by Rona Munro, based on the book Empty Cradles by Margaret Humphreys.[2]


The film is based on the true story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker from Nottingham who uncovered the scandal of "home children",[3] a scheme of forcibly relocating poor children from the United Kingdom to Australia and Canada.[4]

Margaret reunites estranged families and brings worldwide attention to the cause. Deported children were promised oranges and sunshine but they got hard labour and life in institutions such as Keaney College in Bindoon, Western Australia.[5]




Filming took place in Adelaide, South Australia, Nottingham, at Wirksworth in Derbyshire. Some interior scenes were filmed at the University of Leicester, Leicestershire and the porte-cochère of Nottingham railway station. Other locations that appear are a train on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway; Australia House in London and an overview of Nottingham Council House and the Old Market Square.

A casting session was held in Nottingham to find one boy and one girl for the roles of Margaret's children.[6]


Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 71% based on reviews from 68 critics.[7]


Award Category Subject Result
AFI Members' Choice Award Camilla Bray, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman Nominated
Best Film Nominated
Best Actor David Wenham Nominated
Best Actress Emily Watson Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Hugo Weaving Won
Best Editing Dany Cooper Nominated
Best Costume Design Cappi Ireland Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress Emily Watson Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Hugo Weaving Nominated


  1. ^ "Oranges and Sunshine (2011) - International Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo". 
  2. ^ Smith, Ian Hayden (2012). International Film Guide 2012. p. 63. ISBN 978-1908215017. 
  3. ^ Edemariam, Aida (20 February 2010). "People should sort this mess". The Guardian (London). 
  4. ^ "Hollywood flick to tell story of Notts social worker". thisisNottingham. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "College History". Catholic Agricultural College Bindoon. 2002. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Notts youngsters hope to land part in new film". thisisNottingham. 12 October 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Oranges And Sunshine". Rotten Tomatoes. 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 

External links[edit]