The Nostradamus Kid (1993)

The Nostradamus Kid Poster

The spiritual and sexual coming of age of a Seventh-Day Adventist boy in 1950s Australia. Ken Elkin is a "randy young man" who is told that the world is about to end. In a race against time, there's only one goal Ken wants to accomplish: bedding the love of his life, who just happens to be the local pastor's daughter.

"The Nostradamus Kid" is an Australian film directed by Bob Ellis and launched in 1993. The film can be categorized as a romantic drama that brilliantly showcases aspects of coming-of-age and explores styles around spiritual fanaticism and youthful love. It focuses on the protagonist Ken Elkin, a character portrayed by Noah Taylor, and his journey towards self-discovery sprinkled with funny, poignant, and bitter minutes.

Raised in an extremely spiritual environment, Ken Elkin's early life revolves around adhering to the Seventh-day Adventist Church's rigorous teachings. Here's where he fulfills and falls in love with his childhood sweetheart, Jennie O'Brien, played by Miranda Otto. There was a presumed shared fascination, but the zealous religious environment that they remained in restricts them from exploring their proclaimed love. From here, the plot traces the significant phases in Elkin's life, his development from a naive and somewhat repressed child to a grownup who gains necessary insights about life, love, and faith.

Setting and Timeline
The story is set across the 2 considerable period in Elkin's life: the late 1950s, when he was simply a young boy, and the early 1960s, indicated by his university years. It beautifully contrasts these 2 periods, highlighting the lead character's growth, revelations, and transformations. The 1950s part happens in a Seventh-day Adventist summer season camp where young Ken has his very first encounter with love, and then the plot jumps to the '60s, including him as an university student, participating in a world of new experiences and possibilities.

Character Evolution and Themes
In the university phase of Elkin's life, he crosses courses with Jennie again, stiring the cinders of his unrequited love. Their encounter spirals him into a rollercoaster of feelings, confusion, and longing. Surrounded by the troubled counterculture of the '60s, Elkin comes to grips with the short-term nature of relationships, the duality of faith vs. hesitation, and the journey of self-discovery.

The movie vividly encapsulates Ken's transformation from a religious child to a hesitant grownup, leveraging it to impart observational humor and extensive insights. It forecasts Ken's battle with his faiths, his inability to surrender totally either to cynicism or faith, and his responses to the socio-political turmoil of the 1960s.

In addition, the movie explores the feelings of endless younger love, heartbreak, ardor, and despair that Ken experiences due to his doomed relationship with Jennie. His failures in love and his battles with his religious childhood lead him on a philosophical journey filled with constant internal questioning and growth.

"The Nostradamus Kid" is a reflective film drawn from the individual experiences of the director, Bob Ellis. It takes viewers on Ken Elkin's journey of self-discovery, improvement, and coming-of-age. The film effectively blends spiritual fanatism, younger love, and the turbulent socio-political environment of the '60s, making it a captivating watch. The viewers can appreciate the movie's authentic portrayal of adolescence and the journey towards adulthood, complete with the intrinsic mayhem, angst, and enjoyment. Ultimately, through Ken's story, "The Nostradamus Kid" reviews the universal themes of life, love, faith, and the human quest for meaning.

Top Cast

  • Noah Taylor (small)
    Noah Taylor
    Ken Elkin
  • Miranda Otto (small)
    Miranda Otto
    Jennie O'Brien
  • Arthur Dignam (small)
    Arthur Dignam
    Pastor Anderson
  • Peter Gwynne
    The Shepherd's Rod
  • Jack Campbell (small)
    Jack Campbell
  • Erick Mitsak
  • Loene Carmen
  • Alice Garner (small)
    Alice Garner
    Esther Anderson
  • Lucy Bell (small)
    Lucy Bell
    Sarai Anderson
  • Jeanette Cronin (small)
    Jeanette Cronin
  • Colin Friels (small)
    Colin Friels
    American Preacher