Monday, December 29, 2008

Boy A - In A Perfect World, A Is for Academy Awards - Movie Review

I'm trying to squeeze in as many 2008 movies (both on DVD and in cinemas) before the end of the year so that I can compile my Best of Movies 2008 list (I live for these lists, but I may postpone it a bit since I doubt I'll still have time for everything on my list this week) but while the summer blockbusters (The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Wall*E) are still looking strong, The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons didn't live up to its hype and reviews (my review in one sentence? Really well made film with an excellent Brad Pitt and Taraji P. Hensen creating the most interesting bond and section of an episodic movie whose whole isn't quite the sum of its parts. B+), and at this point my Oscar vote is still going to go with Slumdog Millionaire just slightly over Milk for the win, I think the best movie released in North America in 2008 is actually something most of you have probably never even heard of. This:

Boy A, directed by John Crowley and starring no one you've ever heard of, is a small British film about a guy named Jack who is being re-introduced into the world after being taken away from society. I'll leave it at that, since it's one of those gems where it should be viewed on a clean slate.

Andrew Garfield plays Jack and is a revelation. Enough apparently to win the Best Actor award at the Bafta's this past year (the British Oscars). His performance is simply beautifully rendered with a fragility and fracturedness that keeps layering the boy into a 3 dimensional character without display any ounce of "performance" to it. Peter Mullan as his guardian, and Katie Lyons as Michelle (above), his co-worker, turn in simple but intricate performances.

The story is wonderful and haunting at the same time, hopeful yet disturbing and the film slowly builds to a quiet but stunning climax. Bits and pieces are slowly revealed while we watch Jack trying to integrate back into normal British life, where watching him go out nightclubbing becomes thrilling and nerve-racking. You root for the genial boy-man as he flirts with the office girl, and you become horrified at circumstances around the boy's life.

Boy A = A

The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons = B+

Although I did rather enjoy the clever poster:

1 comment:

RJ said...

I really liked Boy A too. It isn't at all eligible for the Oscars,I'm afraid. It aired on television on BBC.