Must Reads

‘Cleverly written with wonderful characters’, we review A Sunburnt Christmas


‘Cleverly written with wonderful characters’, we review A Sunburnt Christmas

A Sunburnt Christmas (Director: Christiaan Van Vuuren) on Stan is brand-new Aussie Christmas movie! To celebrate we asked Eva Scott, author of Lonely in Longreach, to recap and review.

Daryl (Daniel Henshall) is a prisoner needing emergency surgery at the local hospital. While recuperating, he finds himself with a pressing need to make a quick getaway. It just so happens that the Outback Santa organization is visiting the hospital. A quick mugging later and Daryl, dressed as Santa, is driving off into the sunset in a panel van full of presents.

I don’t want to ruin anything here. There are so many magical and funny moments in this movie that you need to experience firsthand, so let me tiptoe around the spoilers as best I can.

Santa Daryl encounters a farming family down on their luck.  Mum Fiona (Ling Cooper Tang) is grieving the death of her husband. The youngest child, Daisy (Lena Nankivell), is firing a shotgun bigger than herself into the clouds in an effort to break the ten-year drought. Tom (Eadan McGuinness), traumatized by his dad’s untimely death, refuses to go outside because bad things happen when you do. Then there’s Hazel (Tatiana Goode), fifteen, holding it all together under pressure from the bank who intends to foreclose on the farm any day now.

Daryl, through unorthodox lessons, begins to help the kids heal while looking for the stolen money his mate stashed on their farm. The only clue he has is that the present is under the tree.

Meanwhile, Dingo (Sullivan Stapleton), the original owner of the money, has recently found God and is blessed with many hilarious signs on his quest to track down both Daryl and the money.

There are so many fabulous moments to treasure. My favourites include the scene where Daisy meets Santa Daryl for the first time; the importance of a windmill named Kevin; the often opinionated family sheep; the pet cemetery (which will make you want to go and rename your pets), and the wonderful glimpses of the full moon rising in an outback dusk.

This movie has something for everyone of every age and I absolutely guarantee you will get a laugh somewhere along the line. Cleverly written with wonderful characters, make sure you put A Sunburnt Christmas on your watch list this year.

Eva Scott

Eva comes from a family of storytellers and has been writing her own stories since she could hold a pencil. Growing up in a multicultural neighbourhood in Melbourne, Eva developed her wanderlust and a passion for culture and language. She travelled the world, living in Britain before coming home to Australia to study Anthropology. Wanderlust got the better of her again, so Eva packed up and headed to Papua New Guinea to live and work where she was completely in her element. Eva’s passion for the Australian country is born of her large extended family, which is spread out across the land. She volunteers at the local primary schools, teaching writing and working with children to incite a love of books and reading. Eva’s books explore relationships, culture, our roles in changing society, love and loss. She loves finding connections with readers over shared experiences.

If you’d like to know more about Eva, her books, or to connect with her online, you can visit her website: