December Boys (2007)

14 September 2007

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Based on the classic Michael Noonan novel, "December Boys" is the story of four orphan teenagers growing up behind the closed doors of a Catholic convent in outback Australia during the 1960s. As the boys watch younger kids get adopted by loving families, they begin to realize that as they get older, their turn may never come. When the convent sends the boys to visit the seaside one summer, they finally have something to look forward to.

While at the seaside, the boys meet a young couple unable to have children, who would make the perfect parents. The eldest of the boys, Maps, finds himself drawn to Lucy, a beautiful girl from down the coast. Competing to be the most adoptable, the rest of the boys, Sparks, Misty and Spit, severely test their friendships as long gestating feelings of rejection explode to the surface.

The bonds of friendship eventually overcome the rivalries, sealing forever the strong ties that bind the December boys as they learn the real meaning behind friendship, family and love.

"December Boys" is directed by Rod Hardy, adapted from Noonan’s novel by Marc Rosenberg, and stars Daniel Radcliffe as Maps, Christian Byers as Spark, Lee Cormie as Misty, James Fraser as Spit, Teresa Palmer as Lucy, and Jack Thompson as Bandy McAnsh.

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"rather predictable and unexciting"

It's clear that Danielle Radcliffe wanted to take on something different, and what could be further away from the magical world of Hogwarts than Australia's bush and golden sands? Unfortunately the beautiful seaside is close to the only thing going for December Boys. The plot was rather predictable and unexciting, and the glowing Virgin Marry, who appears completely at random, presumably to give this film a bit of individuality, left me wondering why, exactly, I had given this movie 102 minutes of my time.

The old, grumpy fisherman, devoted to his mythical fish, was definitely the highlight, but the four orphans soon bring that to an end, leaving us with a sentimental tale. Unfortunately the characters were quite one dimensional. However, the cinematics were good, and shows us that there is a lot of good unknown Australian. Radcliffe's acting was good, although the Australian accent needed a little more work.

I tip my hat to Teresa Palmer, she is 100% convincing as the young, sexually playful woman who attracts Map's (Radcliffe) attention. She masters her body language, using suggestive stances, looks and voice, to lure the teenage orphan in. I don't think many people would go to see December Boys if it wasn't for Daniel Radcliffe. Don't expect a typical fast paced 'Hollywood' film and you might be pleasantly surprised.

 

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film information
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  • Release Date
  • 14 September 2007
  • Cast
  • Daniel Radcliffe, Jack Thompson, Teresa Palmer
  • Director
  • Rod Hardy
  • Writer
  • Ronald Kinnoch (story), Michael Noonan (novel) & Marc Rosenberg (screenplay)
  • Company
  • Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Genre
  • Drama, Romance
  • Cert
  • 12A
  • Runtime
  • 105 minutes