THE BOYS ARE BACK
Growing Up Is the Biggest Adventure
Release Date: September 25, 2009
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 104 minutes
Distributor: Miramax Films/Walt Disney Company
Director: Scott Hicks
Executive Producer: Peter Bennett-Jones
Producer: Greg Brenman and Tim White
Writer: Allan Cubitt
Address Comments To:Daniel Battsek, President
Miramax Films (A Division of The Walt Disney Company)
8439 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (323) 822-4100; Fax: (323) 822-4216
Based on a true story, the movie stars Clive Owen as Joe Warr, a sports writer in Australia whose beautiful second wife loses a difficult bout with cancer. Joe is faced with caring for his young son, Artie, all alone. He sets up a loose set of rules.
Harry, Joe’s teenage son in England from his first marriage, suddenly shows up on Joe’s doorstep. Joe applies the same loose discipline to Harry as to Artie. Life is good for a time with this makeshift all-male family, until Joe’s duties at his job conflict with his duties of caring for his two sons.
THE BOYS ARE BACK is a poignant drama of love and responsibility working through tragedy, alienation and loss. Told in a naturalistic style, the movie depicts the relationship between the protagonist and his sons in a manner that grounds its themes in the real world of everyday life. The cast does a fine job (including its star, Clive Owen), under steady direction from Scott Hicks, who also directed the acclaimed movie SHINE.
THE BOYS ARE BACK shies away, however, from offering any easy or glib answers about coping with tragedy or raising children. Though it admits that, at the end of the day, children need at least some structure and discipline, it neglects to say exactly how much or where. Thus, at a crucial moment the father admits he needs to be a better father but he doesn’t completely abandon his easygoing style of parenting. This Romantic attitude diminishes the movie’s moral elements.
Even so, the movie comes down firmly on the side of fathers taking a strong role in the lives of their children. And, it shows that love and humor can cover over a multitude of sins.
There is some strong foul language in THE BOYS ARE BACK, but there is no sex or explicit nudity. The foul language warrants extreme caution, especially for older children or pre-teens, as do the movie’s themes about dying, death and the loss of a child’s mother and a man’s wife.
THE BOYS ARE BACK is a poignant drama of love and responsibility working through tragedy, alienation and loss. Told in a naturalistic style, the movie depicts the relationship between the protagonist and his sons in a manner that grounds its themes in the real world of everyday life. The cast does a fine job, including its star, Clive Owen, under steady direction from Scott Hicks, who directed the acclaimed movie SHINE. The movie’s moral elements are diminished, however, by Romantic attitudes toward parenting and some strong foul language. Extreme caution is advised.