The Boys Are Back (2009)

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This movie is about a father, Joe (Clive Owen) dealing with the grief over the loss of his second wife to cancer while also trying to be a father to his two sons: Artie (Nicholas McNulty) and Harry (George Mackay

I was recommended to watch this film by my sister, who writes the blog 21st Century Girl which can be found here. Whatever film she recommends usually turns out to be good and she is also a big fan of any Clive Owen film, so I quickly rushed off to watch this film.

To be honest, I was very surprised to find out that this was an Australian film as I had always associated Clive Owen with British film. Australian film is so multifaceted and I had studied it in the past. However, I think with this film it certainly helped that I went in as plot blind as possible.

I would probably describe this film as very extraordinarily ordinary because simply put it puts delight in the ordinary, in the scenes between Owen’s character and his youngest son. The film’s central crux of ‘just say yes’ could have been yet another family film cliche but the film makes it work. In the same way, the presence of Joe’s dead wife Katy (Laura Fraser) within the story itself was done well and served as Joe’s inner voice as he tried to understand his young son. While the film doesn’t offer any thing new, it certainly deals with what is has in an interesting way.

While not exactly a tearjerker, it was a film which managed to slide between deep pathos and humour with seemingly effortlessness. I think its emphasis was on the strength of masculine relationships in whatever form they take. This is the cinema which brought us Australian mateship and refreshingly male-female relationships are given a back seat or ignored all together.

Would I watch this film again? Yes at some point in the future, but not particularly any time soon. It was a great film and managed to put a lot into its 1 hr 40 minute run time. However, I don’t think its one of those films which can be readily revisited time and time again, because you may be too busy already pondering its aftershocks on you for some time after.

MY RATING: *** / *****




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