Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Boys are Back. . .

So here are some tips for surviving a film festival. Always carry a good book (lots of reading time in the line-ups), manage the fluid intakes wisely because there isn't always time to head to the washroom, and always, always, make conversation with the strangers standing in line around you, because you never know when you'll meet someone who knows someone who knows someone else who can get you within ten feet of this, beautiful, beautiful man!

Yes, I know - and all I could come up with was this blurry photo. Well, wouldn't your hands shake too?
Oh, and the movie? Not bad either. The Boys Are Back is directed by Scott Hicks (Shine, Snow Falling on Cedars) and is based on the book by Simon Carr. Clive Owen plays Joe, a top sports writer, whose wife suddenly dies of cancer leaving him grief-stricken and suddenly the only parent to their six year old son. Then his older son from a previous marriage - also dealing with parental issues - arrives for a visit. I normally roll my eyes at stories of men suddenly discovering that taking care of children is difficult, time-absorbing and involves a change in lifestyle; I've just known too many who have chosen to walk away from their responsibilities instead. But the script is quite good and not overly sentimental and Joe makes plenty of serious mistakes over and over again until it all finally sinks in. The acting is great, as are the shots of Australia. It'll hit all the right buttons, but thankfully it's not as riddled with cliche as movies in this genre tend to be. And it's nice to see Owen in a different type of role. Mind you, it's just nice to see him.

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