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Boy A (2007)

A movie directed by John Crowley

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Living with the Sins of Childhood

  • Oct 27, 2008
  • by
BOY A is a film that moves the audience in ways few other films do. Part of this is the subject matter, part the solid drama of the novel by Jonathan Trigell on which Mark O'Rowe based his brilliantly understated screenplay, part the sensitive direction by John Crowley, and in large part is the cast of remarkably fine actors who make this impossibly treacherous story credible.

'Boy A' refers to Eric Wilson (Alfie Owen) who was jailed for a crime with his friend with whom he was associated as a youth. He has been released from prison and under the guidance of his 'parole officer/advisor' Terry (Peter Mullan), the now young adult is renamed Jack Burridge (Andrew Garfield) to protect him from the public who still remember the heinous crime of which he was convicted: Terry warns Jack to tell no one his real identity. Jack is assigned a new family and finds new friends in this strange world outside prison walls, but he is still haunted by the crime that changed his life. How Jack relates to his first female relationship and survives the bigotry of his classmates and city folk and finds a way to hold onto life despite his childhood 'sins' forms the development of this story.

While the entire cast is excellent, Andrew Garfield's performance as the guilt ridden needy Eric/Jack is exemplary. There are many issues this film deals with in addition to the trauma of starting life over after imprisonment, issues that are universal in nature and that probe our psyches for answers that are never easily resolved here. It is a brilliant little film from the UK. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, October 08

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More Boy A (2007) reviews
review by . December 30, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
This is one fantastic film. Alienation, peer pressure, friendship, love, hate, fiction, reality, truth, jealousy. And can a person ever really be rehabilitated? Just a few of the thoughts I had while watching this film.     There are so many wonderful and troubling things going on during this hour and a half flim. It's very hard to separate what is real, what is true, and what is fictional. Are Jack's flashbacks to his childhood truth, or are they fiction he makes up to survive? …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #42
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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An intriguing tragedy held together by a pair of remarkable performances,Boy Atakes hold of a viewer in its opening scene and never lets go. Andrew Garfield (The Other Boleyn Girl) plays "Jack Burridge," a name chosen for him by a somewhat mysterious, avuncular fellow called Terry (Peter Mullan). Terry seems to be the only person to have maintained a relationship with Jack during the years the latter was incarcerated for a terrible crime he committed, with another child, as a boy. (Their misdeed is slowly revealed in detail through frequent flashbacks.) This British film, based on a novel by Jonathan Trigell and directed by John Crowley (Intermission), begins with Terry smoothing a path for Jack to re-enter the world with a new identity and fabricated personal history. Taking a delivery job in Manchester, Jack slowly learns about everything he missed while growing up in prison: how to order from a menu, how to be a friend, how to woo a woman. In time, Jack enjoys the esteem of co-workers and love of a compassionate girlfriend, Kelly (Siobhan Finneran). But the more he becomes part of the fabric of his world, the more he risks being exposed as a fraud. A strange, almost alien tension permeatesBoy A. A viewer gets crucial information in bits and pieces, and a radical shift in one’s perception of what’s actually going on in the story awaits the audience in the second act. As betrayal and manipulation slowly emerge from behind layers of obfuscation and false ...
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Director: John Crowley
Screen Writer: Jonathan Trigell, Mark O'Rowe
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008
Runtime: 106 minutes
Studio: Miriam Collection
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