UK Release date: 25th May 2012
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 6th April 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is another of those films that had a bit of a mixed reception on release; generally liked by the public but it had a bit of a mixed reception from the critics (here in the UK at least). I must admit it did put me in mind of a great British film; ‘Son of Rambow’; worth checking out if you haven’t seen it. I have to admit I did enjoy this one, it’s very quirky without being all ‘quirk’ & no story (those that have seen it will know what I mean). Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
It’s 1965 and when young Boy Scout Sam (Jared Gilman) decides to leave camp, Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) immediately calls in the local police, Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis). They begin to search the island they are on and it soon transpires that young Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) is also missing. Her parents, Walt (Bill Murray) and Laura (Frances McDormand) discover that the pair have been writing to each other for about a year. It was all planned to the finest detail. Both children have had difficult upbringings, Sam because his parents had died and he had been brought up in foster care and Suzy because one of her parents was having an affair. It seems these misfits belong together but their about to be discovered… Don’t worry; there’s more to come. Social Services (Tilda Swinton) are about to get involved and Sam’s fellow Scouts also have plans for the pair. Add to this an approaching storm and it’s about to get very interesting.
I love the look and feel of this film; yes, it’s got a lot of quirkiness, but that’s not allowed to overrun the narrative too much. The soundtrack also adds to the enjoyment in a way; it becomes part of the world these people inhabit. The very black and white sensibilities of children are explored here; everything it taken as a matter of fact and accepted without question. I found it quite refreshing in a way; it made a nice change from the brainless comedies I’m usually subjected to. All the performances were excellent with my top awards going to the two youngsters; Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman. Well worth a look if you haven’t seen it and (probably) well worth a re-watch if you have!
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 8.2/10.
IMDb Score: 7.9/10 (based on 106,963 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 84/100: (Based on 43 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 87/100 (based on 104,991 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Scout Master Ward: Jiminy cricket, he flew the coop!
Walt Bishop: Holy Christ, what am I looking at here?
Laura Bishop: He does watercolours. Mostly landscapes but a few nudes.
Walt Bishop: Did she sit for this?
Laura Bishop: We women are emotional.
Suzy: I hate you.
Laura Bishop: Don't say “hate”.
Suzy: Why not? I mean it.
Laura Bishop: You think you mean it, in this moment. You're trying to hurt me.
Sam: Listen to some reason. I don't like you. You don't like me. So, why don't you just let us disappear?
Redford: Well, it's tempting, but we can't allow it.