This is the first and perhaps least known of a spurt of great girl films from Down Under, highlighted by Alicia Fulford's delightful performance. The other films, of course, were Rabbit Proof Fence (Everlyn Sampi) and Whale Rider (Keisha Castle-Hughes). This Oceanic "Girl-Trilogy" gives us a great perspective into the region's three primary ethnic groups: Europeans, Aborigines, and the Maori.
The female director of Rain apparently used to make music videos, which show in the fine cinematography and soundtrack. The film often looks grainy and distorted, which helps to evoke a mood of hazy memories of a childhood summer vacation.
The storyline appears to borrow heavily from Satyajit Ray's 1955 classic Hindu cinema debut, Pather Panchali. But it builds upon that base admirably with the added thematic dimensions of Janey's flowering feminine beauty and her family's unfulfilling bourgeois life, all framed beautifully with the marvelous cinematography and score.
I have a hunch that in 5-10 years when all the glow comes off the other famous film trilogy from New Zealand, these three neglected feminine tales will all be viewed as superior films. Why wait for the masses, enjoy this film now!