The December Boys

Year: 2007
Production Co: Village Roadshow pictures
Director: Rod Hardy
One can imagine how the producers of this sleepy little Australian drama must have felt when none other than Harry Potter signed on to it. It must have been something like winning the lottery.

You couldn't get any further from a multimillion-dollar effects extravaganza than the story of four orphans from the outback in the 1960s holidaying in a small seaside community, but kudos to Radcliffe for trying something different.

That's not to say the story is terribly interesting, the acting terribly outstanding or the film terribly memorable. Equal parts The Year My Voice Broke and Stand By Me, it's a bland and predictable coming of age tale of the four boys and the various influences and role models in their life, from their gruff but friendly charge (Thompson) to the local girl (Palmer) who shows Maps (Radcliffe) the path to manhood.

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