Friday, October 09, 2009

The Boys Are Back

...and so am I. At least occasionally. This is cross-posted from MidLifeBloggers but I don't know who reads that or who, if anyone, reads ByJane.

People who know me know that I'm a real snippy critic when it comes to movies. Much of what the film industry puts out earns Three Snorts from me. So when I tell you I thought a movie was terrific, trust me--it was terrific.

Last night I went to a screening of The Boys Are Back. I didn't expect anything special. Didn't really know much about the film except that it starred Clive Owen and had boys in it. To what end, I wasn't sure--and really, that wasn't the point in my going. It was a screening, for heaven's sake. Shades of Hollywood, for heaven's sake. Not to mention a chance to make myself feel like LA's not that far away. So I met up with Margaret of NannyGoatsInPanties and Alena of LenaLoo's Inner Green Fairy and Larissa of no blog at all, bought myself the popcorn I must have to watch a movie and settled back to see what was what.

What I saw was one of the best films in ages. I hate movie reviews that recount the plot so I won't. Suffice to say, it's a love story between a father and his sons. It's about trying your best and sometimes coming up short, but sometimes not. It's about trying and sometimes failing, but sometimes not. It's about family in all its messy glory when each member is valued as an individual. It's about males without women but not in a way that demeans either gender.

It's about filmmakers not going the quick and dirty route with heavy-handed symbolism and Lessons Learned. No manipulation by music, no cheap Hollywood tricks to create an emotional response. Scott Hicks, the director of Shine and producer of Billy Elliot, directed it, from a screenplay by Allan Cubitt, which was based on the memoir, The Boys Are Back In Town, by Simon Carr. They have created a spot of real life in a movie theatre. Truly, if I hadn't recognized Clive Owen, I would have thought I was watching a documentary. I loved the world they created on the screen and, frankly, I didn't want it to end.

I can't remember the last time I was so touched by a film. Yet, such is the world of movies these days that I don't think I would have seen it if not for the screening. Too many bum deals out there for $10.50 a pop. Too many films where the best thing going was the popcorn. So I have to thank Melissa from Women and Hollywood for getting me on the hallowed screening list. And I have to thank the filmmakers, all those involved, for creating a film that made me remember that moving pictures are indeed an art form and that the best of them reflect who we are and refract our values.


  1. Glad to hear your good review!

    Also, Clive Owen! Delicious.

  2. You, the mother of two boys, will particularly love this. I really felt envious since my family was almost exclusively female.


So--whaddaya think?