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Boy

Year: 2010
Production Co: Unison Films
Director: Taika Waititi
Producer: Clidd Curtis
Writer: Taika Waititi
Cast: James Rolleston, Taika Waititi

Once again kiwis show Australian directors how it's done. While they use humour, we use misery. While they use slapstick emotional confusion, we use bleak emotional dysfunction. No wonder we're staying away from our own movies in droves.

With shades of Eagle vs Shark, this film tells the story of people who have no idea how big the world is outside their own little slice of it, often letting delusions of their own grandeur stand in the way of seeing their considerable shortcomings.

Boy (Rolleston) isn't one of them. He dreams of the big wide world where stars (like his idol Michael Jackson) live charmed lives of riches and plenty while he dreams of escaping his beachside hamlet home in New Zealand.

Taking care of his brothers and sisters when he gran goes away for a few days, one of Boy's dreams comes true when his absent father comes to visit. A perpetual manboy who's seriously misinformed about his own importance in the world (much like Jarrod, Jemaine Clement's hilarious Eagle vs Shark character), Boy's dad isn't home to visit his much-loved son at all, but to dig up a sack of dope money he's stashed in a paddock, reluctantly letting Boy ingratiate himself into his life while it suits him.

But Boy gradually has to take off the rose coloured glasses about his idiot father and grow up a little himself, making his journey a sweet, funny coming of age tale. The performances are rough by lovable, particularly the tiny, quiet and wise-beyond-his years Rocky.

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