I admit it, I have a soft spot for Australian films. Perhaps I’m biased because I work in the Australian film industry, but I always want Aussie films to be good. I’m pleased to say, Scott Hicks’ ‘The Boys Are Back‘ is. The film centers around a single father (played to perfection by Clive Owen) and his son (Nicolas McAnulty) as they work out how to relate to each other and make it through life together.
‘The Boys Are Back’ sits in a genre that our local filmmakers do very well – films like Somersault, Japanese Story, Lantana and Candy. These are films about people – their failures, struggles, and achievements. But they also have a strong sense of place, where the setting, urban or rural, permeates the entire film. The South Australian landscape is stunning and gives the film a background we’re not used to seeing in family dramas.
Clive Owen carries this film. As a father, I found Clive Owen’s portrayal of a single parent struggling to work out what kind of dad to be emotional and thought-provoking.
The film is moving, without being sentimental. It’s challenging and hopeful. It’s one of those films you’ll be thinking about a couple of days afterwards, if not beyond.
‘The Boys Are Back’ is in theatres now.