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Reviews by Cinefan

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276 reviews/ratings - 14 pages (20 reviews/ratings per page)

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Les amitiés particulières (1964)

BOY ACTOR OSCAR RATING. This marvellous French film, despite the DVD I have being from a poor print, shines through as one of the greatest boy films ever. Not only does it deal with the controversial subject of boylove but provides a performance from Didier Haudepin, who plays the young Alexandre, worthy of an Oscar award. This French boy actor's playing of a flirtatious, attractive boy in a strict Catholic school is hugely impressive.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 10 / 10
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Motorama (1991)

BOY ACTOR OSCAR RATING. A film both comical and dark, full of weird characters all encountered by 10 year old Gus driving a car across a mythical United States. Gus is looking to collect cards from gas stations to make up the word Motorama and so win himself a million dollar prize. The whole film rests upon the shoulders of a relatively unknown boy actor, Jordan Christopher Michael. He rises to the occasion with great merit giving a cinematic performance worthy of a BA Oscar. His portrayal of Gus is simply marvellous allowing the character to experience all sorts of situations and make that portrayal believable. It is a great shame there are no DVD extras which meant no interview with this elusive boy actor.

Apart from this film I have only seen Jordan appear in a bit part in one of the 'Saved By The Bell' episodes.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 10 / 10
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The Sixth Sense (1999)

BOY ACTOR OSCAR RATING. A really great thriller with a supernatural twist at the end that works very well. Haley Joel Osment is outstanding as the boy who sees dead people. His performance was certainly worthy of a BA Oscar.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 10 / 10
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Boys Diving, Honolulu (1901)

What can you say other than the title suggests? A remarkable short from the infancy of film.

Having previously been a meanie and only given this rare historical film 5 I shall upgrade that immediately to 9 in consideration of its antiquity.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Captains Courageous (1937)

A classic film and a rare example of outstanding acting by a boy actor in the 1930s, Freddie Bartholomew. He deserved the Oscar and not Spencer Tracy! Freddie acted his heart out in this film and even his oh so British accent could not deter from that. The tender scene where Spencer calls the boy his 'little fish' brings tears to the eyes. (Wouldn't be allowed today, of course, unless his fisherman pal was police checked!) Absurd! Definitely up there among the ranks of Classic Boy Films.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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The Cure (1995)

A wonderful boy film made all the better by being about a developing friendship between two boys which is quite rare in cinema. While not necessarily saying Brad Renfro and Joseph Mazzello should have been given Oscars I do think their nominations would've been in order. Both boys shared the acting honours in this film playing their respective parts to perfection. A storyline about a kid dying with Aids could have easily descended into mawkish sentimentality. One could possibly say it did in the hospital scenes towards the end. Overall however the director, Peter Horton, kept the plot moving on an even keel. Definitely a film to watch with the paper hankies handy! Among the classics of boy films. I just wish the DVD had extras interviewing the boys and even a bloopers reel! Instead it has zilch which, unfortunately, seems to be the way with Brad Renfro films as 'The Client' was the same.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Little Lord Fauntleroy (1995)

An excellent version of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic story. Michael Benz is outstanding as the young lord and Truan Munro puts in a good performance as his American shoeshine friend, Dick. A TV series can always dramatise a book in more depth than a movie. The character of Fauntleroy is, therefore, more demanding on a young actor but Benz rises to the occasion with aplomb. Apparently in the horse riding scene with George Baker, Benz's horse bolted and was only stopped by George galloping after it!

A wonderful production by the BBC and a worthy addition to any boy film shelf.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Scrooge (1951)

Dickens is what the British do best and 'Scrooge' is a fine example. Masterly acting by Alistair Sim as the miser and the scene with Tiny Tim (Glyn Dearman) looking in the shop window beautifully done. I liked the good looking John Charlesworth as Peter.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Shane (1953)

This is a classic Western if not THE classic Western. Brandon De Wilde is outstanding playing the homesteader's little boy, Joey, and worthy of an Oscar nomination. Alan Ladd is great as Shane even if he was rather undersized for the part. Apparently, he had to stand on a box in some of the scenes! A wonderful film with its famous dramatic ending.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Stand by Me (1986)

Plenty of boy actor Oscar nominations for this outstanding film. All four boys played their parts very well indeed with possibly Wil Wheaton as Gordie taking the prize. An all American nostalgia trip into boyhood beautifully acted with wonderful outdoor settings. I was pleased even Kent Lutrell, who played the dead kid, got in the credits.

Apparently, Bob Reiner the director, had difficulty getting Wil Wheaton and Jerry O'Connell to show enough fear when running across the bridge ahead of the train. He had to yell at them that they were wasting the film crew's time having to reshoot which got the results he wanted. A fine film and a must for every boy film buff's DVD shelf.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

This classic Oscar winning movie is so great it almost eclipses the fact there are boy actors in it. Philip Alford, of course, is excellent as Jem who shares much screen time with Mary Badham as his tomboy sister, Scout. They are ably supported by the late John Megna who plays the little boy, Dill. I reckon the bogeyman, Boo Radley, wasn't that crazy when he knew he had to save nice Jem from being murdered. Great film all round.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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12 and Holding (2005)

An unusual movie with a fine performance from relatively unknown boy actor, Conor Donovan, as the surviving twin with the strawberry birthmark. There are three plotlines of which Donovan, playing Jacob Carges, is the main one the other two rangeing from hilarious to implausible. It is not often a boy film ends in a twist which indicates the young hero is not what he seems and could become a psychotic monster. A great film which might have worked better if the main plotline had been enhanced. Unfortunately, no DVD extras which meant no interview with Conor. Boo.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Another fine performance from Haley Joel Osment as David, the robot boy, worthy of an Oscar nomination. This kid is one of the truly Greats among cinema boy actors. I guess Spielberg wanted to make David 'different' by having Haley not blink at all. Must have been hard for the boy to manage I would've thought. The ending has not met with every reviewer's approval but I found it fitting and somewhat sad. One thing, I doubt if a passage of time amounting to 2,000 years would have been sufficient for all the climatic changes that happened to David while he was submerged beneath the sea watching the Blue Fairy - more like 10,000. Great film.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Apt Pupil (1998)

A great film from the pen of horror writer-in-chief, Stephen King. The acting laurels are equally shared by Ian McKellen and the wonderful late Brad Renfro. As I remember, the story had both characters bumping off a lot more winos and dossers than in the film! Of course, had I been Kurt Dussander, I would've been certainly telling Todd stories other than about the holocaust ... ;) With Ian McKellen being Gay I often wonder if that might just have been the case off set! I always thought Dussander was slow in not getting his own back when Todd made him dress up in a SS officer's uniform. Next time Todd came round he should've had a parcel for him to open containing a Hitler Youth uniform complete with tight black shorts in which Brad Renfro would've looked outstanding!

I thought the two actors acted off each other very well and made their characters all the more sinister in their own ways.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Arlington Road (1999)

I was surprised to see this film listed on BA as it's what I call a 'semi-boy film'. It is an edge-of-your-seat thriller with a twist ending where the baddies come out on tops! Of course, there has to be the usual car chase but this was a great film. I would've liked to see more of Spencer Treat Clark and Mason Gamble but never mind. I couldn't understand how Spencer who played the son took his kidnapping so lightly.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Bad Santa (2003)

You just had to laugh at this film. Billy Bob Thornton was wonderful as the foul mouthed Santa and Brett Kelly as the plump kid who didn't seem to bat an eyelid when all the expletives were flying around. I wonder how they managed to film it so that young Brett Kelly would be spared the worst of it?

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Billy Elliot (2000)

How come I missed reviewing this great film shot only a few miles from where I live? Jamie Bell is fantastic in a part requiring plenty of emotional acting and dancing. Bell said he liked tap dancing and it is apparent in Billy Elliot although he does his best with the ballet scenes. All the grit and desperation of the miner's strike and its effects on Billy's family are well drawn out. Jamie looks great in his boxing gear and his relationship with his dance teacher, Julie Walters, is both funny and moving. The film also deals with a gay friendship ably portrayed by Stuart Wells as Michael, Billy's friend. The cross dressing scene is hilarious and also when Michael warms Billy's hands against his body is so moving. A great film well acted by everyone in it.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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The Black Stallion (1979)

This is a beautiful film mainly due to the combined acting of Kelly Reno and the wonderful cinema photography of Caleb Deschanel. Kelly's acting is so laid back and not forceful in any way. This is all the more outstanding as it was the boy's first film. Kelly's father owned a ranch and so his son would've been brought up with horses which could be one of the reasons he got the part of Alec. The first half of 'The Black Stallion' is almost poetic where the boy is on a desert island with the horse and there is very little dialogue. Kelly's performance here is wonderful and Deschanel's photography make the rugged, natural scenes appear almost magical. It is obvious that Kelly himself is doing some of the bareback riding scenes and I guess the director, Carroll Ballard's heart must have been in his mouth while filming that as I guess no insurance firm would touch such actions!

The second half lapses into your standard boy and animal film even though Kelly is supported by the great Mickey Rooney. One could say the horse race was exciting and I did like Alec's masked jockey costume ...

There are no extras with the DVD of this film which is a shame as I would like to have known how the director coped with the filming on that island. Kelly Reno went on to make a sequel four years later 'The Black Stallion Returns' but it had none of the magic of the original. I don't think Kelly made a lot of money out of these two films. In fact, his acting career was cut short when he had a road accident that put him in hospital for a long time.

No Oscar for Kelly, unfortunately, as he was assisted by Rooney but an unforgettable piece of cinema nonetheless.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

Asa Butterfield looks so innocent in this film playing Bruno you can hardly believe his dad is a high ranking SS officer and commandant of a concentration camp. Bruno doesn't even wear a Hitler Youth uniform. Both he and Jack Scanlon, as the boy of the title, play their parts very well.

In the scene where Shmuel cleans the glasses in the commandant's house, apparently Scanlon was genuinely scared on set of the young Nazi officer telling him off !

Nicely crafted film with a shock ending.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Central do Brasil (1998)

Finely filmed and finely acted, this warm but sad story is a genuine pleasure. 'Central Station' is fittingly worthy of the Golden Globe award it received and Fernanda Montenegro's Best Actress nomination. Both her and Vinicius De Oliveira's performances combine to make this a great film. What film background De Oliveira has I have no idea but he plays the boy, Josue, with all the wayward tantrums of a child, the endearing pathos and happiness as well. The boy and old woman complement each other throughout the story right up to its moving ending.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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