Clive Owen delivers a emotionally-charged performance as a widowed father in the drama, The Boys Are Back. Owen, who’s known for his roles in Children of Men, Shoot ‘Em Up, and Duplicity, does an amazing job as a regular dad who has to meet the new challenges that arise when his wife dies of cancer.
As he scrambles to figure out how to balance his on-the-road job as a sports columnist and his new gig as a full-time parent, he makes the decision to parent in a revolutionary way; a way that both stuns and frustrates the other parents around him.
Adapted from the memoir of the same name by Simon Carr, the film explores issues of loss, grief, parenting, and how we as humans adapt to tragedy. The Boys Are Back delivers on a variety of levels, all of which lend themselves to the depth of character and storytelling evident throughout.
Nicholas McAnulty’s role as Carr’s young son, Artie, is his first film, and he does an excellent job. The primary reason, I feel, is that director Scott Hicks (Shine) allows him to act like a real kid and not just a movie character.
But even while he’s acting like a typical kid – screaming, running around, being silly – McAnulty shows that he has the ability to memorize and perform lines effectively. Let’s hope we see more roles from him in the future.
The DVD of this Miramax/BBC Films production include:
The Boys Are Back: A Photographic Journey with Optional Commentary by Director Scott Hicks (I recommend watching with the commentary, it gives context to the photos).
A Father and Two Sons, On Set
A short featurette where the real-life kids of author Simon Carr meet the two boys who play them in the film.
If you’re in the mood to tear up one evening and let you emotions get the best of you, check out The Boys Are Back.
The Boys Are Back is on DVD and Blu-ray Now!