The Boys Are Back 2009 ***

Scott Hicks (Shine) does a nice job at creating an unsentimental weepie with this 2007 melodrama about sport-writer Joe Warr (Clive Owen) who has to take a more active role with his children after the death of his wife Katy (Laura Fraser). Owen has often been misused as a Bond action figure, but serving a double role as producer, he opens up a softer side here, with a youthful George McKay as one of his kids. Adapted by Allan Cubitt from a novel by Simon Carr, The Boys Are Back offers an astringent analysis of the different ways in which men and women raise families, and benefits from excellent performances from Owen, Fraser and McKay. Some ravishing South Australia landscapes and the unfamiliar but accurately caught world of journalism all help make this a well-wrought true-life study of loss and recovery.


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