Thursday, July 10, 2008

SFFF II: Son of Rambow

It can be a bit touch-and-go with child actors, ever since the Jodie Fosters, the Haley Joel Osments and Dakota Fannings of this world set the talent bar that high. So many kids just don’t make it on to the Hollywood rollercoaster. With this in mind, I managed to drag the Pom and some other festival neophytes along to see Son of Rambow, which is fronted by two young actors Bill Milner and Will Poulter. And to our surprise and delight, they really carry the film.

Son of Rambow
is the gloriously warm and gorgeously funny story of two unlikely friends hellbent on making their own version of First Blood. Set in 1980s suburban England, school bully Lee Carter and sacrificial lamb Will Proudfoot band together to make a short film for a local competition. Hilarity ensues when the French exchange students roll into town and self-appointed school royalty Didier Revol casts himself and his minions in the film. (I was an exchange student back in the day, and I don’t recall causing such a ruckus. Perhaps it’s a French thing.)

The characterisations, soundtrack and production design are spot on, culminating in the reflexively irreverent common room scenes, where we children of the 80s delight in spotting the faithful recreation of our misspent youths…right down to the mixing of Pop Rocks with Coca-Cola. Cue: explosion.

80s flashbacks aside, the strength of this film is its infectious innocence. Writer/Director Garth Jennings really shoots from the boys’ point-of-view, never allowing the haze of nostalgia to fog over the heart of the film as the story of friendship, family and the robust, creative exuberance of youth.

Be sure to track down Son of Rambow for the laughs, the stunts...or for Gossip Girl fans, to swoon over Chuck Bass with a British accent.


Son of Rambow is due for release in Australia on 4 September 2008.


Jet Jackson said...

The latest "RAMBO" was on the Blue ray last evening.
Another one mans war against the "bad" people........lots of little people and villagers to save !
The usual whitty dialogue !
No "Son of Rambo" in sight...although John could have used the help.

Alice said...

JJ, Rambo on blue ray would certainly be one to watch! Stallone has apparently endorsed Son of Rambow (though the 'm' and 'w' were added for legal purposes).
If Sly decides not to hang up his headband, I can (unfortunately forsee) a Rambo 5 where an illegitimate half-Vietnamese boy is trotted out to find and help Dad!

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