December Boys

One of you JayFlix folks suggested I watch this 2007 Australian DVD about four boys in an outback orphanage. The bond they have in common is their birthday: these four chaps are all born in December. As a special treat this year, they are given a holiday at the beach by an older couple. When one of the boys overhears a conversation, he thinks one of them will be chosen for adoption. This rumor creates rivalry among the group and causes a rift that threatens to destroy their friendship.

As a rule, when a movie is made in another country, we are more likely to suspend disbelief and be convinced of its authenticity because the faces aren't familiar. This film is no different. These four boys, along with the capable supporting cast, are utterly convincing:
  • Daniel Radcliff ("Harry Potter") as Maps, is the oldest. He has no desire to be adopted, as he'll be eighteen in a couple of years and be on his own. His mission is to protect the younger boys and deal with that pretty young woman in a neighbouring cabin. (Thus that hickey on his neck!)
  • Lee Cormie ("Darkness Falls") is Misty, the bespectacled boy who starts the rumor. He is determined to be the one chosen by that childless couple!
  • Christian Byers ("The Tree") is Sparks, equally determined to be adopted. You'll love how he got his nickname!
  • James Fraser ("Sleeping Beauty" 2011) is Spit, and yeah...he does!
  • Jack Thompson ("Australia") is mostly wasted as the generous elderly fellow who offers the boys a nice summer vacation.
  • Teresa Palmer ("I Am Number Four") is the lovely wench behind Maps' hickey!
This is the perfect time to remind you that, despite his youth, Daniel Radcliff was a successful working actor BEFORE Harry Potter, and he will continue as one long after the final frame of that franchise.

The orphanage is NOT depicted as a torture chamber staffed by wicked nuns. Instead it is treated in an even-handed way as a pleasant, albeit sterile, home for boys. The nuns are understanding and supportive, while the priest lays a lascivious hand on nary a one of them! What a relief!
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This link takes you to a preview:
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