About A Boy
8 out of 10
Isolation In Modern The World
"Voice, tone, simplicity, humor and soul." - somethings which British writer and journalist Nick Hornby strives for in all of his work and has achieved beautifully here. Known for his perceptive and witty social commentaries "High Fidelity" and "Fever Pitch," his latest work, "About A Boy," has also been adapted to film. With an outstanding soundtrack by Manchester's Badly Drawn Boy, it is a trendy and unique movie about love and family life in the 22nd century.
Will Lightman (Hugh Grant) is a thirty-something, self-centered London lad who has no intension of growing up. Living on royalties from his late father's one hit wonder "Santa's Super Sleigh," he prefers the easy life - life without commitments or attachment. While not completely comfortable with the thought of being single, and although often lectured by his friends of the dangers of "island living," Will still reasons the freedom of bachelorhood must at very least be less complex than constraints of fatherhood or family life. After being sent on a blind date, Will believes he's struck it rich and has found his niche in life dating needy single mothers, until meeting 12 year-old Marcus. Bullied at school, with his music therapist mother Fiona suffering from depression, Will becomes a much needed escape from his usual surroundings. As their relationship grows, not unlike Murphy and Fanning in "Uptown Girls," each gives the other the strength to face their fears and reconnect with life around them.
Directed by Paul and Chris Weitz, known for "American Pie," "Nutty Professor II" and "Antz," "About A Boy" is a departure from their previous works. Mature, artistic and visually appealing, it is well-paced with an appealing storyline, dry humour and clever commentary on life and relationships. There are incredibly moving moments handling subjects such as love, loss and isolation. Similar to other Working Title productions "Wimbledon" or "Love Actually," it also contains all the stylish and romantic London love story moments and settings.
At it's core, however, newcomer Nicholas Hoult is the story, not only central to the plot but also as an actor. Bringing to the screen an authentic and endearing portrayal of the precocious Marcus, he easily carries the picture on his own. Natalia Tena (Marcus's friend Ellie), Toni Collette (Fiona) and Rachel Weisz (Will's love interest Rachel) who studied at Cambridge with Chris Weitz, are also brilliant in supporting roles.
Memorable and garnering several award nominations, it is not only an intelligent movie about isolation in modern society, but also a charming love story and a touching tale of life as a boy.
Film Critic: Jennifer M Lillies