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Byron Shire
July 14, 2024

Do you have an IF?

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When 12-year-old Bea moves into her grandmother Margaret’s apartment in New York, while her father waits for heart surgery in the same hospital where her mother died of cancer years earlier, she chafes against his playful antics, insisting she can handle the situation with maturity.

One night, Bea goes out to buy a charger for her mother’s old camcorder and sees an unfamiliar creature – she follows and it leads her back to her grandmother’s building.

The next day, she sees the creature again, accompanied by a man. Bea follows them to a nearby house where the man, Cal, retrieves a large furry purple creature named Blue. She also meets the other creature, a butterfly-like being named Blossom, and faints. She awakens in Cal’s apartment where she learns that he has been working with imaginary friends, nicknamed IFs, to place them with new children as their original children have grown up and forgotten them. Initially reluctant, Bea eventually decides to help Cal.

Cal takes Bea to Memory Lane Retirement Home, a retirement community for IFs housed underneath a swing in Coney Island. There, he introduces Bea to Lewis, an elderly teddy bear who is the head of the facility. He inspires Bea to use her imagination to redesign the facility, much to the chagrin of Cal. Bea tries to match one of the IFs with Benjamin, a young patient at the hospital. She, Cal, and Lewis audition the IFs, but he is unable to see any of them. Feeling unmotivated, Bea talks with Lewis on the Coney Island pier. He gives her an idea.

From writer and director John Krasinski, IF is about a girl who discovers that she can see everyone’s imaginary friends, and what she does with that superpower as she embarks on a magical adventure to reconnect forgotten IFs with their kids.

IF stars Cailey Fleming, Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski, Fiona Shaw, and the voices of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett Jr. and Steve Carell alongside many more, as the wonderfully unique characters that reflect the incredible power of a child’s imagination.

IF is screening at Palace Cinemas in Ballina and Byron Bay.

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