Saturday, April 2, 2016

B is for: Boy

Boy (2010)
Director: Taika Waititi
Writer: Taika Waititi
Producer: Cliff Curtis, Ainsley Gardiner, Emanuel Michael
Stars: James Rolleston, Taika Waititi, Te Aho Eketone-Whitu

The most successful local film ever at the New Zealand box-office, Boy is the hilarious and heartfelt coming-of-age tale about heroes, magic and Michael Jackson. Set firmly in the 1980s, the film is narrated by an extremely likable 11-year-old known as Boy. When his father, Alamein, sweeps back into town, towing a couple of members of his motorcycle gang, Boy is thrilled, certain his dad is back just for him.

In fact, Alamein has returned to find the money he buried somewhere near the family home. Unfortunately, he can’t remember exactly where. The film generates much of its tension around the uncertainty of the relationship between Boy and Alamein. Boy worships his father, but rather than this misguided hero-worship exploding in a single act, Boy’s eyes are opened to his real father little by little and through this discovery, he grows up.

With colorful fantasy sequences used to show Boy’s exuberant, childish imagination, the film’s visual style is fun and quirky. The film doesn’t shy away from showing the darker side of this seemingly idyllic place, but it doesn’t dwell on the darkness because Boy doesn’t.

As Boy, James Rolleston is perfect. He is natural, unguarded and exudes hope even in the face of adversity. It’s impossible to imagine the film with any other actor in the role.

From Taika Waititi, director of Eagle Vs Shark, What We Do In The Shadows and the recently released Hunt for the Wilderpeople.


  1. Hello from the reef, Kate!

    This will be interesting to see if I've seen any of the New Zealand films you spotlight. So far, no. But you're making me want to see 'em!

  2. Kate, this sounds like such an interesting movie. I think it could be a bit depressing, but it sounds like they tried to keep it more balanced.

  3. Very cool when a film is perfectly cast. This looks like a great movie. I like the plot.

  4. This film sounds right up my alley. I wonder if I can find it on Amazon. Can't wait for the C movie.

  5. You are right after me on the #AtoZChallenge list. Hello from a Canadian living in the U.S.A and thank you for exposing me to New Zealand film! I feel I must find this or novel if it's based off a book. Thank you!

  6. You had me at 'set in the 1980's'...

  7. Hi, Kate - greetings from a fellow Reider! I like the sound of this film and look forward to learning about others I'd never heard of!

  8. I actually have this movie, but haven't watched yet. I need to make time for it.

    Cheers - Ellen |

  9. Sounds really cool. If it's ever on Netflix I'll have to watch it.

  10. This sounds like a wonderful story. I enjoy coming of age stories to begin with, and I'm a great believer in how awakening to reality comes slowly in stages, not all at once, so this sounds like a little gem.

  11. Hi Kate! Yet another review that makes me want to go watch the film! I'm enjoying your posts :)
    -- KRidwyn at

  12. You know, I just realized that I've been a fan of Cliff Curtis since Whale Rider, and that's why I love to see him pop up in the odd places he tends to, because that was a great movie, and he was a key part of why...