‘Breath’: A Directorial Debut from Actor Simon Baker


I have never been surfing, but I grew up during a time when surfing was the big thing for the south Jersey shore. During the ‘70s, my friends and I never worried about skin cancer or shark attacks. The Wildwood beach was packed with sexy girls in bikinis, and some blond Adonis riding the waves on a surfboard. Was Simon Baker able to catch the essence of those times in Breath? Catch me on the other side of the wave to find out.


Pacific Northwest Pictures is releasing the coming of age drama, Breath, on August 24 in Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria, followed by the August 31 opening in Calgary as part of the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

Based on the best-selling novel by Australian author, Tim Winton, Breath under the directorial debut of The Mentalist star, Simon Baker, is a coming of age story of two friends who become obsessed with riding the most dangerous of waves in mid ‘70s Australia. The film stars Samson Coulter, Ben Spence, Elizabeth Debicki, and Simon Baker as Sando. Author Tim Winton provides the adult voiceover for Samson Coulter’s character, Pikelet.


The story centers around the two teenage boys, Pikelet and Loonie (Ben Spence) as they try to find their place and their fun on the beaches of a small coastal village of Angelus. While Pikelet, who has the most trusting parents I have ever seen, is more outgoing of the duo, Loonie is the daredevil who constantly searches for the next dangerous stunt, which includes playing tag on a busy highway with trucks.

updated breath 2

When the boys meet with world-renowned skateboarder, Sando (Simon Baker), they are taken under his wing. As Sando encourages the boys to ride the increasingly more dangerous waves of Australia, his wife Eve (Elizabeth Debicki) openly disapproves of the time that Sando spends with the boys over the next few years. Is Sando playing Pikelet and Loonie against each other? I’m not sure, but there is no loyalty provided by Sando to Pikelet when Sando and Loonie head to Indonesia without him. Eve, who suffers both physically and emotionally from an old skiing accident, uses the time that Sando is gone to seduce Pikelet.


I was never a good swimmer, so the thought of me riding on a surfboard seemed as alien to me as jumping from a plane. Breath not only offered a good story, thanks to Simon Baker’s directing, but it also allowed me to feel the thrills and the frights of staying ahead of those twenty or thirty foot waves from the safety of my home.


Breath is a film that needs to be watched by people, who like me, rejoice in our love of extreme sports that match man’s wits against nature. This film with its excellent water scenes captured by water photographer Rick Rifici will surely take your breath away.

Leave a Reply