It started back in December, when we weren’t really at home at all. We were on holiday in Tulum, Mexico at an all-inclusive with our kids and at night, all that ever seemed to be on the television was Lady and the Tramp.
But one night we got lucky, and tuned in to see this fabulous film starring Daniel Radcliffe from 2007. So this must have been just when the fifth Harry Potter film, The Order of the Phoenix came out.
Radcliffe steps so far out from his role as the famous wizard, that you’d never know it was the same actor, unless you love IMDB like I do.
So what is it about this little film that so stuck in my brain that I need to tell you about it two months later? Well, for starters, it’s set in Australia in I’m guessing the 1960s. And it is a coming of age story, of sorts, which I guess you could say is my wheelhouse. So given that we have Australia, the wild landscapes and a retro-story, you could say they had me at “Hello.”
Radcliffe plays Maps, one of four orphan boys who leave their orphanage and go to spend a summer by the sea with an older couple who introduces them to sand dunes, sandstone rock formations, first love and the search for belonging. It’s a little like Stand By Me, if you remember River Phoenix and the boys walking down the railroad track.
It feels like an indie film, something Bill Murray might have starred in decades ago, but this is so much better. Radcliffe steals every scene. I don’t know what it is about him but you can’t help but want to cheer for him and console him, somehow.
If you get the chance, make the time for this little beauty. She won’t let you down. When I went to get the Harry Potter films at the video store (yes we still have one of those on our island) I passed December Boys on one of the shelves and felt like I might cry. It’s that good.