Sundance Video Review: Taika Waititi's New Film 'Boy'

January 25, 2010

Taika Waititi's Boy

Another new Sundance video review. It's just vastly easier to record video reviews of some films, which is why we have so many of them. This time Alex talked with Peter from SlashFilm about New Zealand director Taika Waititi's new film Boy. Both Peter and I were big fans of Taika's Eagle vs Shark a few years back and had high hopes for Boy. It's a good film but I don't think it's as great as Eagle vs Shark and it runs a little long. It's got some good performances but I didn't love it. Watch the trailer for it here. If you're interested in hearing our quick thoughts on the film, watch our 4-minute video review below. And sorry it was so dark!

When his father returns after many years away, 11-year-old Boy (James Rolleston) and his little brother Rocky (Te Aho Aho Eketone-Whitu) must reconcile reality with a fantasy dad they created in their minds.

Boy is written and directed by New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi, aka as Taika Cohen, who made his feature debut in 2007 with the Sundance gem Eagle vs Shark and also directed some episodes of "The Flight of the Conchords" as well as the short film Two Cars, One Night. This doesn't have a US distributor yet, but it is looking for one here at Sundance. We'll let you know if this film ever ends up being released in the US.

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  • frank dunce
    they are called maori people from nz, i know its a rushed review but the way its worded sounds totally unprofessional...plenty of improvements to be made on the next review, i would have to agree that its an ok/good movie and ill give it 7/10.
  • wikiriwhi
    Hard to say if this is going to be in the classic mold of Good Bye Pork Pie. Utu was radical but hasn't had the kindness of time. But definitely has the potential to remain in our affections with out having seen it.
  • sam
    any news on this being released in the US?
  • Allen Pryor
    Awesome movie,you have to be from NZ to relate to it and if you were a rural Maori you should get a bit more out of it. It will stay popular in NZ for a long long time
  • Sonya
    I loved it, I think you have to be from NZ to get it.. It probably won't do well internationally because of that but it's going to be a NZ classic for sure, I also think those boys are naturals on camera. MEAN MAORI MEAN.
  • BJ P
    Boy is an awesome movie and craps all over eagle vs Shark. I guess you are ignorant of how things are/were in New Zealand at the time and fail to see how close to reality the movie is at times for those who came from that part of the world. It's ok tottaly not your fault.
  • Charlotte
    It seems a bit lame that these reviewers don't even know the name of the native people of New Zealand. Are they really qualified to review a movie from New Zealand, or a movie from anywhere other than the U.S. without knowing some basic general knowledge about other countries?
  • Christian
    I really enjoyed this film, one of the best NZ films in a long time. There's a lot of pop culture references but there are even more if you're a kiwi. It's strongly a kiwi film for kiwi's, but I'm sure many people can get a lot out of it. I personally didn't like Eagle vs Shark, I found it annoying, but Waitit's Oscar nominated short (Two Cars, One Night, or something) and Boy are both fantastic. I hope this guy gets funding for some more kiwi films, and good luck to him in Green Lantern!
  • mowtoa
    I havent been "home" to NZ for 12 years, saw this film in Australia and laughed myself stupid. Fantasy sequences aside, I was refreshed by the acting, particularlly the kids,I often turned a blind eye to some of the blatantl stereotyping of the mens behaviour and the sometimes irritating over use of rural maori english that bordered on more stereotyping but since I come from around the coast there and am Maori and proudly so ( although that trend has only been recent for many maori people) and because I understand the sensibilities and appreciate Taikas gentle and kind treatment of the characters (My 15 yr old son raised in Austalia said Ït wasn't really that poor there mum was it?"my response "worse") I appreciate that Taika didnt beauty tweak his cast, like the cast from once were warriors, and showcased the beauty of rural maori hunour, observational,dry and laconic. This will be a seminal coming of age film for indigenous audiences the way once were warriors was. Its not a rich, overindulged, emotionally challenged, tech loving good ol white boy kind of a film. So I guess the reviewers wouldn't 'get it''.The film reminded me of these words from the Maori Poet Hone Tuwhare from his poem Friend, "Friends in this drear dreamless time, I clasp your hand, if only for reassurance that all our jewelled fantasies were real and wore splendid rags" Tumeke e hoa!
  • Christina
    I loved Boy having just seen it in New Zealand in February. Darn that I can't get it in the United States.
  • Anthony
    A touching and very funny film; I'm amazed anyone would consider it less than the flawed and stilted Eagle vs Shark. Is this really doomed to be a great film that only people from New Zealand will appreciate?




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