Boy

Out Now On-Demand

Taika Waititi's second feature film (after Eagle vs. Shark and episodes of TV's Flight of the Conchords), is a coming-of-age comedy set in the '80s, East Coast, New Zealand.

Boy (James Rolleston) is obsessed with Michael Jackson - in particular, his dance moves - and his little brother Rocky (Te Aho Eketone-Whitu) possibly possesses 'powers'. The pair are trying to find their potential (and the meaning of the word "potential") while living in the shadow of their larger-than-life dad, Alamein (Waititi).

In Boy's eyes, his dad is a hero: a deep-sea diver, war veteran, rugby captain and close relation of Michael Jackson. But in reality Alamein is doing seven years in jail and is a member of the three-man Crazy Horses gang. Now out of the can, Dad returns home and Boy is confronted with the man he thought he remembered.

Trailers

Awards

Best Film, Director, Supporting Actor (Waititi), Screenplay, Cinematography and Editing at the NZ Film Awards 2010.

Directed by

Written by

Comedy, Drama

88mins

Rating: M contains drug use and offensive language

New Zealand

Official Site

A movie that is distinctly kiwi, in all the good ways, Boy takes place in a beaten-down coastal village, a dead-end place where in the ‘80s one could only dream about the magnificence of Michael Jackson or the glamour of TV’s Dynasty.

It’s is a film with modest ambitions but a love for its subjects. Writer-director Taika Waititi takes from experience, using his ear for the musicality of the Maori accent to create a strong sense of place. Boy moves from comedic into more serious territory but, for once, we are not seeing onscreen Maori as hampered by domestic violence or mired in spiritual guff.

Excellent and honest debut performances from James Rolleston and Te Aho Aho Eketone-Whitu as his younger brother, Rocky, are hugely impressive. Next to them, Waititi himself comes off a little caricatured as their father, Alamein, who in his son’s eyes is imagined to be anything from a heroic soldier to a samurai warrior. The drama begins as Boy begins to see the real Alamein, a man not yet come to terms with his own adulthood and the responsibilities that ought to come with it.

Patchy pacing becomes an issue in the second half and some cartoonish moments create a distancing effect but this story about the gap between youthful potential and the puzzling mystery of adulthood is a feel-good, warm-hearted salute to the virtues of rural New Zealand. And it’s our best film in years.

A.V. Club (USA)

press

One of the unexpected triumphs of Boy, an enormously likeable coming-of-age comedy, lies in its ability to recapture the vulnerability and optimism of childhood without becoming twee or maudlin in the process.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

press

'Boy' shows a community adrift in the present.

Hollywood Reporter

press

A cross between "The 400 Blows" and "Slumdog Millionaire" (though not quite in their class)... James Rolleston's sweet, winning performance in the title role as a kid with a lot of potential and a vivid imagination, largely overcomes the leisurely storytelling. It's a crowd-pleasing film that could find a modest theatrical audience.

indieWIRE (USA)

press

The result is alternately zany, sentimental, and remarkably insightful about the quirks of a child’s mind.

Los Angeles Times

press

Waititi never builds much momentum for his largely uneventful if sometimes inventive story.

National Business Review (Robert Smith)

press

Boy is a very funny and surprisingly thoughtful film of buried treasure, lost Mums, super-powers and Michael Jackson. It has one of the saddest scenes involving a goat to ever appear on screen, but still manages to be one of the funniest films in ages. Anybody who misses out on it is a total egg.

New York Times

press

This unpretentious comic tale of a youngster’s growing relationship with a long-absent father has a surprising rhythmic genius: joy juxtaposed with humiliation, silliness with sadness, fantasy with reality, and none of it formulaic. The editing feels fresh, as does the film.

NZ Herald (Peter Calder)

press

Funny, heartbreaking, wonderful.

Otago Daily Times (Mark Orton)

press

The thing with Taika Waititi's wildly successful short film, Two Cars, One Night, was that it lasted only 11 minutes. Just long enough to generate a smile, and take a whole lot of us back to pub car parks in the '70s.

Time Out New York

press

Further proof that Wes Anderson has overtaken Quentin Tarantino as the world's most mimicked indie auteur, this Kiwi coming-of-age story employs enough quirky costuming, symmetrical framing and sub-Mothersbaugh-scored slo-mo sequences to make Max Fischer blush.

TV3 (Kate Rodger)

press

It feels like a while since I smiled this wide and felt this good watching any film, kiwi or otherwise. It was a great feeling

tvnz.co.nz (Darren Bevan)

press

Unmissable.

Variety (USA)

press

Apart from the local vistas and mostly Maori cast, Waititi has scrubbed away all culturally specific traits from his growing-up-Kiwi comedy, concentrating instead on the same things that might infatuate any other 1984-era moppet: a schoolyard crush, a missing dad and, above all, Michael Jackson.

ViewAuckland.co.nz (Jess)

press

Inspired by the short film Two Cars, One Night, Taika Waititi brings together a great cast of New Zealanders to tell the story about a young boy living in Waihau Bay with his family and his goat.

Funny but too short

I really liked this film but it seemed like it was missing another thirty minutes. It should have been longer with a more developed story.


Movie review in NZ

Nice movie ......good to see this movie....

Film reviews in NZ


So young, but already a Kiwi classic

Taika Waititi's short OSCAR winning "Two Cars, One Night" was fabulous - so his first full length feature, "Eagle vs. Shark" was a bit of a let down. For a comedy it just wasn't that funny and it retrod ground that "Napoleon Dynamite" had already trod - to far funnier results. But in "BOY," Waititi hits the mark. Warm hearted, funny and beautifully shot - "BOY" is sure to establish itself as a Kiwi classic before it matures. Don't be an egg - see it for yourself and enjoy.


Awful

It would be nice if a Kiwi film could rise above bad acting and cartoonish caricatures. Painfully slow movie that relies on mawkish nostalgia. I find nothing lovable or charming in a 'comedy' about the awful things adults do to children.


Kiwis we make good films

Good to see the eighties in a whole new light a funny and moving story

Cool film

user


Cool film

As a Pom I had difficulty relating to this film initially, but when I watched it again, it appealed to me in a variety of ways as it shows a boy, his dysfunctional dad and a wish to escape his humdrum life into Michael Jackson land. Kids are the same - you could have transposed this to anywhere in the world and met the same type of characters in similar settings wanting the best things in life - a great film.

Just the Best!!

user


Just the Best!!

Absolutely nothing wrong with this film but yes you probably did need to grow up in NZ in the 80s to fully appreciate it. Loved it, kids love it, brought the dvd, watched it many times & see different things in it everytime but the star of the show is most definitely ROCKY!!

Review

user


Review

fresh guys :)

Ha, choice as

user


Ha, choice as

It cracks me up how people reckon that this portrays māori in a negative way. Funny how no one mentions that Taika's other movie Eagle vs. Shark portrays pakeha as awkward. That's just his style. We laugh at our failures, mistakes and humanity. That's what we all share. Anyone who has never seen that side of New Zealand, might not get it, but there is truth in these movies and exaggerations. I can't see how one story about one kid in one rural part of NZ really can be seen as a representative of all māori. Honestly, does anyone think all pakeha are like Paul Henry because he's on TV? We love him as a character, it doesn't mean we agree with his way of doing things or think that everyone should follow his example. I think it's the same with boy. Personally I love the movie. I bought a copy of the DVD.

TOO AWESOME!!

user


TOO AWESOME!!

BOy is a great film. I have to do a review on a film and i cant think of a better one for it!

Its sooooo funny but sad and i LOVE Rocky. I wanna have powers like him! Boy is a fantastic film and i can not wait to see it again!!!