Boy A

Film, Drama
5 out of 5 stars
(6user reviews)
migrate.46124.jpg
‘You can run away from your past but your past can’t run away from you’: This is the idea explored in ‘Boy A’, the story of a rehabilitated child murderer named Jack (Andrew Garfield) who is trying to escape the shadow of his wayward formative years. The plot draws stark similarities with the infamous James Bulger case in that it involves two young boys who stab a schoolgirl to death and then goes on to tackle the mainstream media’s concurrent rejection of their right to a new identity. Interestingly, director John Crowley decides to take a subjective standpoint on the matter, and the noticeable bias in his film does have the potential to offend. Yet, the focus on the inner torment of the protagonists and the naturalistic shooting style lend the film a quality similar to the work of Mike Leigh, as the film effectively captures dark issues and personal suffering with haunting sensitivity. In all, a poignant realist drama that will leave a big emotional impression.

By: Natasha Kaufman

Posted:

Release details

Cast and crew

Director:
John Crowley
Screenwriter:
Mark O'Rowe
Cast:
Andrew Garfield
Alfie Owen
Peter Mullan
Siobhan Finneran
Katie Lyons

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|6
1 person listening

This is another top notch film funded by Film 4 (Channel 4 in the UK). I have yet to see a bad Film 4 movie. If you liked this then check out the others.


This is another top notch film funded by Film 4 (Channel 4 in the UK). I have yet to see a bad Film 4 movie. If you liked this then check out the others.


I do completely agree with Colin T's review: Iike him, I consider Andrew Garfield's performance to be absolutely excellent, and it succeeds in conveying a big emotional impact. Regarding the stanpoint adopted by the director, yes, it may be subjective, but the script carefully ensures, in my opinion, that it not be offensive: it should not be forgotten that in the film, Jack saves a little girl from a car accident: this somehow suggests that he has completed some sort of redemption, but by showing Jack's past in flashbacks, the director clearly shows that this is not an excuse for him, but rather that Jack has paid for what he did, and, what's more significant, fully learnt something from his years in prison. For all these reasons, I do not consider 'Boy A' to be offensive, and I really cannot understand why many people accept without questioning something far more offensive, such as the filthy garbage that, for instance 'Alpha Dog' is, where the kidnappers and cold-blooded murderers of a 15 year-old boy are not only shown as likable, but even glamourized. 'Boy A',athough it is also inspired by a true story, carefully and mercifully eschews that kind of disgusting esploitative deformation.


I do completely agree with Colin T's review: Iike him, I consider Andrew Garfield's performance to be absolutely excellent, and it succeeds in conveying a big emotional impact. Regarding the stanpoint adopted by the director, yes, it may be subjective, but the script carefully ensures, in my opinion, that it not be offensive: it should not be forgotten that in the film, Jack saves a little girl from a car accident: this somehow suggests that he has completed some sort of redemption, but by showing Jack's past in flashbacks, the director clearly shows that this is not an excuse for him, but rather that Jack has paid for what he did, and, what's more significant, fully learnt something from his years in prison. For all these reasons, I do not consider 'Boy A' to be offensive, and I really cannot understand why many people accept without questioning something far more offensive, such as the filthy garbage that, for instance 'Alpha Dog' is, where the kidnappers and cold-blooded murderers of a 15 year-old boy are not only shown as likable, but even glamourized. 'Boy A',athough it is also inspired by a true story, carefully and mercifully eschews that kind of disgusting esploitative deformation.


The most affecting performance I've seen. Garfield is outstanding. The tenor of the piece hangs around his niavety and warmth. You don't feel for him because he's a mawkish realisation of victim, but because his character struggles with a verite of emotions that Garfield transfers to the viewer. I've not been so affected by any other performance . Glances, looks, shyness and a furtive attempt to guard the character's past and present decentness. These moments are impossible for nearly all actors to capture, especially with the bombast that is required of actors in most pieces. There are some weaknesses such as the stylised schizophrenic dance sequence. We don't need an ecstasy shamanesque dance to understand the tensions behind any young male, let alone child killer. The bookend suicide doesn't deal with the impossible issue of dealing with truth in a relationship. But the performance of Garfield, and the small support cast, makes this drama a powerful moral prism much more so than the schmaltz in say Hard Candy.


The most affecting performance I've seen. Garfield is outstanding. The tenor of the piece hangs around his niavety and warmth. You don't feel for him because he's a mawkish realisation of victim, but because his character struggles with a verite of emotions that Garfield transfers to the viewer. I've not been so affected by any other performance . Glances, looks, shyness and a furtive attempt to guard the character's past and present decentness. These moments are impossible for nearly all actors to capture, especially with the bombast that is required of actors in most pieces. There are some weaknesses such as the stylised schizophrenic dance sequence. We don't need an ecstasy shamanesque dance to understand the tensions behind any young male, let alone child killer. The bookend suicide doesn't deal with the impossible issue of dealing with truth in a relationship. But the performance of Garfield, and the small support cast, makes this drama a powerful moral prism much more so than the schmaltz in say Hard Candy.