Father, sons grow up in marvelous ‘Boys Are Back’
Everyone knows about the Neverland, the place where little boys go to avoid growing up. But it’s more than a fairy tale for a carefree, globe-trotting sportswriter thrust suddenly into single fatherhood in The Boys Are Back. Directed by Scott Hicks (Shine), and featuring a marvelous performance by Clive Owen as the conflicted dad, it’s an extraordinarily wry, poignant, and perceptive look at fathers and sons who use creative anarchy as a means of helping each other come to grips with the cold, hard real world.
Adapted by scriptwriter Allan Cubitt from the memoir by real-life sports journalist Simon Carr, the film stars Owen as Joe Warr, star sportswriter for a major London newspaper. Joe’s the one his editor sends halfway around the world to cover the Olympics, or international soccer playoffs, but he always circles back to terra firma at the beachfront home in South Australia, where his loving, pragmatic Australian wife, Katie (Laura Fraser), a former Olympic equestrienne, and their little son, Artie (Nicholas McAnulty), are waiting.