Boy offers charming, funny coming-of-age story

The year is 1984, and on the rural east coast of New Zealand, Michael Jackson's Thriller is changing kids’ lives.

The year is 1984, and on the rural east coast of New Zealand, Michael Jackson’s Thriller is changing kids’ lives.

Boy is a dreamer who loves Michael Jackson. Boy lives with his brother Rocky (who thinks he has magic powers), a tribe of deserted cousins and his Nan.

Boy’s other hero, his father Alamein, is the subject of Boy’s fantasies, and he imagines him as a deep-sea diver, war hero and a close relation of Michael Jackson (he can even dance like him). In reality, he’s “in the can for robbery.”

Shortly after his Gran leaves for a week, Boy’s father appears out of the blue. Having imagined a heroic version of his father during his absence, Boy comes face to face with the real version — an incompetent hoodlum who has returned to find a bag of money he buried years before. This is where the goat enters.

Inspired by his Oscar-nominated short, Two Cars, One Night, Taika Waititi offers a charming, funny, and earnest coming-of-age story where everybody has some coming of age to do — particularly Alamein (affably played by Waititi himself). Never short on humour, Waititi’s story is ultimately about three boys (one grown) reconciling fantasy with reality.

The film Boy screens this Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Rialto Theatre at Driftwood Mall.

Film tickets are available at the CVAG Gift Shop in downtown Courtenay and Videos N More in Comox. Tickets will also be available in the Rialto Theatre lobby before the film.

The CVAG/TIFF Film Series is a fundraiser for the Comox Valley Art Gallery. For updates and more information on the films, visit www.comoxvalleyartgallery.com or call 250-338-6211. The Winter Film Series will begin in January.

— Comox Valley Art Gallery

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