Movie of the Day – The Boys are Back

While you might be expecting me to talk about the Thin Lizzy song or the album of the same name by Sawyer Brown, you will be disappointed.  Instead I will be talking about the 2009 Scott Hicks directed film about fatherhood and the emotional journey in bringing together the lives of those affected by tragic circumstances.  The Boys are Back was a movie that caught me off guard, since I had no knowledge of the books they were based on and it was an interesting role for Clive Owen to take, since I used to seeing him kick ass or something.  While an emotional tale, it is a beautiful movie that even brought a tear to my eye with the subject matter and acting from the cast.  This is where I would transition to the body of the post with a picture but I will just put both a picture and the Thin Lizzy song.

A quick witted rogue with a talent for covering sports, Joe Warr (Clive Owen) never took life seriously — until the day his beloved wife died in the blink of an eye. But while Joe is absolutely overwhelmed with grief after losing his spirited soul mate, his six-year-old son, Artie (Nicholas McAnulty), is taking it even harder. Artie can’t accept his mother’s passing, and his troubling means of expressing his grief are only serving to make a bad situation worse. Suddenly, into the chaos of Joe’s and Artie’s lives wanders rebellious teenager named Harry (George MacKay). Harry is Joe’s son from a previous marriage, and he’s come from England to live with his father and stepbrother. Upon realizing that he’s neither emotionally prepared nor equipped to take on the responsibility of being a single parent, Joe decides to throw the rules out the window and “just say yes” to every question his sons pose. The result is a household that’s full of jubilance and energy, but constantly on the verge of calamity. Somehow, in the midst of all the chaos, something incredible happens — the bereaved father and his two sons find the courage to move past their grief, and rediscover the joy of living. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

The film is a gorgeous story about maturing through difficult times.  The story setups the single parent angle with having Clive Owens being this active, slightly absent father figure as he is off being a sports writer.  While we get this impression of a distant father figure (more so from Clive’s stoic acting and cold exterior) he is truly a loving father.  His time with his wife and Artie is heartwarming as the love is there and not packed away.  With the death of his, it does throw him into a tailspin in terms of becoming both the father and mother of the house.  It’s heartbreaking when Artie, for as young as he is, displays an emotional maturity that isn’t seen in a lot of kid actors.  He is young enough to know that his mother is dead, but young enough to not realize the difficulty that lies ahead for both him and his father.

Joe Warr’s character is fleshed out more when the introduction of his first, estranged son is brought back into his life after leaving him and his mother when he was young.  Harry (who I thought was Rupert Grint as first) brings a rebellious nature to the already strained life of Joe and Artie.  His emotional problems are almost a mirror of what could happen to Artie, but it is the emotional push that brings the family closer together.  Everything just flowed so well together, from the acting and story, it’s emotional when it needs to be and uplifting at the right times.  Seeing the all boys family do guy things and embrace the situation to the best of their ability is endearing.

This is a beautiful movie with amazing cinematography of the Australian country side and makes the family seem so isolated when we watch them in their house.  It’s a gorgeous setting and story about growing up and coming together.  I found the “say yes” attitude lending itself to produce some obvious tension and issues within relationship building, but you find yourself thinking that this sort of growth and philosophy being natural given the all boys club the men of the household have.  I enjoyed watching Clive Owen in a different role than he usually takes, as his distant and calm demeanor changes throughout the movie to a warm and embracing father figure.  Everyone grows in this movie as Artie learns to embrace his situation and accept his new brother.  Harry learns to forgive his father for leaving him all those years ago and Joe understands that mistakes of leaving Harry and becomes what both the boys need him to be.

You can catch this on Netflix Instant stream.  A very beautiful and moving film.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

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