The Boys Are Back
Prime Suspect writer Allan Cubitt adapts U.K. sportswriter Simon Carr’s popular novel about a successful sports journalist who is suddenly saddled with the responsibility of raising two sons from different marriages in this single-parent drama from director Scott Hicks.
The Boys are Back is a movie that I’m going to be probably unfairly predisposed towards reviewing, in that I saw it very early on and I met both the director and Clive Owens, who is the star, who is a terrific actor. In this particular movie, he plays a very prominent sportswriter, who marries a younger woman, who then proceeds to die of cancer, leaving him with a five year old child that he barely knows. It turns out that he also has a child from his first marriage, who’s 14 or 15, whom he barely knows as well. And on one hand, you can see this as a movie about parenting and about wrong choices and the difference between how men and women raise their children, but having sat in on an interview with both the director and the actor, I have a completely different take on it, which is about grief, and how we get beyond ourself. I also think as a psychologist that both the actor and the director missed one of the issues, which is the father taking huge risks with his very young son, because he felt that his young wife was taken from him, and that he’s depressed. He’s saying, he’s kind of thumbing his nose at death. But for whatever the interpretation is, and maybe that’s the real beauty of the movie, is that you can see different things in it. It’s wonderful actors, including the six year old and the 15 year old. And hearing a very astute, traditionally trained actor talk about how you respond to a six year old and how the director got different things out of him was really amazing. This is a movie that, believe it or not, will make you laugh, a lot, make you think about parenting and probably bring a little bit of moisture to your eye as well.