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Son of Rambow

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
Garth Jennings’s last film, ‘The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, had visual imagination to burn, but was less sure-footed when it came to plot and character. It’s a pleasure, then, to find that his follow-up shows just as much wit and verve in its production design, while also succeeding as storytelling: ‘Son of Rambow’ is a schoolboy yarn with a bracing emotional honesty
that packs a real kick.

Jennings takes us to the early ’80s Home Counties suburbia of his youth for the story of two mismatched pre-teens. Will (Bill Milner) is the sheltered son of a strict religious family, whose father has died in the Falklands and has never even watched TV; Lee (Will Poulter) is the tougher wide-boy, a latchkey kid who bullies and then befriends Will as they embark on a homemade VHS opus, after seeing a pirate copy of ‘First Blood’.

Meanwhile, a group of French exchange students descend on the school, including one particular guy who constitutes a New Wave all of his own. Will is a keen doodler, and his sketches burst out across the countryside in playful CGI, but there’s also great entertainment in the boys’ lo-tech Heath-Robinson production plans.

Backyard remakes are very much of the moment – think Michel Gondry’s ‘Be Kind Rewind’  – but ‘Son of Rambow’ integrates its slapstick genre pastiche into a thoughtful story about peer pressure, neglect and yearning. Both Milner and Poulter are terrific; their performances, along with a keen eye for the indignities of the playground, help keep things the right side of sentimentality.
Written by Ben Walters

Release Details

  • Rated:12A
  • Release date:Friday 4 April 2008
  • Duration:95 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Garth Jennings
  • Screenwriter:Garth Jennings
  • Cast:
    • Bill Milner
    • Will Poulter
    • Jules Sitruk
    • Jessica Stevenson
    • Zofia Brooks
    • Neil Dudgeon
    • Tallulah Evans
    • Adam Godley
    • Jessica Hynes
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