For pervs who couldn’t make it to London to see Daniel Radcliffe’s penis in Equus, Rod Hardy’s December Boys provides general audiences with a chance to see the actor’s ass crack in all its lily-white glory. In the most suspiciously lit orphanage the movies have seen since The Cider House Rules, the four December-born orphans commanded by Maps (Radcliffe) pull their pants down and moon the latest lucky bastard picked for adoption. Hasta la vista, bloke! Whisked to a stunningly remote part of the Australian Outback by the ocean, the boys are confronted with the pleasures of women who emerge from the water like calendar models, the horrors of cancer, and the possibility of adoption. Alive with detail and beautifully performed by its young cast, the film squanders its rich sense of adolescent discovery with an undercurrent of sexism and the uninteresting ebb and flow of water-logged metaphor. Every child in the film is given an obstacle or two to grapple with, among them a black stallion rumored to pluck fish out of the water and feed them to cats and a ginormous fish that is the bane of a crotchety old man’s existence. Being that he can actually get an erection, Maps aims higher, spending much of his time with a local girl who eagerly pops his cherry, almost as if he were going to die tomorrow, before hitching a ride out of town without so much as a good-bye hand job. “Everyone leaves!” he screams, and December Boys suddenly comes at you like Helen Hunt in the 1982 Afterschool Special Desperate Lives, during which the actress takes a PCP-induced nosedive out of a two-story window. The film has a screwy sense of gravity, regaining its good senses whenever it sets its sights on the struggles of the December boys to get adopted only to compromise its sensitivity with its rather obsessively middling focus on animals and other assorted things meant to highlight, over and over again, the need for human inter-dependency.
- Warner Independent Pictures
- 105 min
- Rod Hardy
- Marc Rosenberg
- Daniel Radcliffe, Teresa Palmer, Christian Byers, Lee Cormie, James Fraser, Jack Thompson, Kris McQuade, Suzie Wilks, Victoria Hill, Sullivan Stapleton, Ralph Cotterill, Frank Gallacher
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