IMDb > About a Boy (2002)
About a Boy
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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Nick Hornby (novel)
Peter Hedges (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for About a Boy on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 May 2002 (USA) See more »
Growing up has nothing to do with age.
Based on Nick Hornby's best-selling novel, About A Boy is the story of a cynical, immature young man who is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 12 wins & 20 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Effective, Satisfying Film See more (387 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Hugh Grant ... Will Freeman

Nicholas Hoult ... Marcus Brewer

Sharon Small ... Christine
Madison Cook ... Imogen
Jordan Cook ... Imogen
Nicholas Hutchison ... John
Ryan Speechley ... Barney
Joseph Speechley ... Barney

Toni Collette ... Fiona Brewer

Natalia Tena ... Ellie (as Nat Gastiain Tena)
Laura Kennington ... Ellie's Friend
Tanika Swaby ... Ellie's Friend
Peter McNicholl ... Ellie's Friend

Christopher Webster ... Ellie's Friend
Ben Ridgeway ... Lee
Jack Warren ... Lee's Sidekick
Russell Barr ... Maitre D'
Isabel Brook ... Angie
Orlando Thor Newman ... Angie's Kid
Paulette P. Williams ... Bitter Ex-Girlfriend (as Paulette Williams)
Fritha Goodey ... Bitter Ex-Girlfriend
Susannah Doyle ... Bitter Ex-Girlfriend
Delma Walsh ... Bitter Ex-Girlfriend
Jonathan Franklin ... Mark
John Kamal ... Nicky

Tessa Vale ... Class Teacher
Lorna Dallison ... Woman in Supermarket
Bethany Muir ... Child in Supermarket
Bruce Lawrence ... Husband in Supermarket (as Bruce Alexander)
Joyce Henderson ... Moira / SPAT

Jenny Galloway ... Frances / SPAT
Janine Duvitski ... Caroline / SPAT
Sue Hyams ... SPAT Woman
Maggie Kahal ... SPAT Woman
Lynn Askew ... SPAT Woman
Beverly Milward ... SPAT Woman

Danielle Harvey ... SPAT Woman
Anna Maria Credenzone Philip ... SPAT Woman
Sarah King ... SPAT Woman
Susan Ghamsary ... SPAT Woman
Edna Johnson ... SPAT Woman

Victoria Smurfit ... Suzie
Frog Stone ... Mothercare Shop Assistant
Buddy Hunter ... Family Member in Mothercare Car Park
Kristine Perrin ... Family Member in Mothercare Car Park
Nathan Perrin-Hunter ... Family Member in Mothercare Car Park
Rachael Perrin-Hunter ... Family Member in Mothercare Car Park
Amy Craven ... Suzie's Baby Megan
Rebecca Craven ... Suzie's Baby Megan
Sidney Livingstone ... Park Keeper

Cathy Murphy ... Nurse
Joanne Petitt ... Hairdresser
Jason Salkey ... Amnesty International Worker Tom

Annabelle Apsion ... Amnesty International Worker
Matt Wilkinson ... Amnesty International Worker
Peter Roy ... Will's Dad
Matthew James Thomas ... Candy Thrower (as Matthew Thomas)
Aaron Keeling ... Candy Thrower
Scott Charles ... Candy Thrower
Claire Harman ... Skechers Shopgirl
Sian Martin ... Cute Waitress
Mark Drewry ... Clive

Denise Stephenson ... Lindsey
Rosalind Knight ... Lindsey's Mum

Rachel Weisz ... Rachel
Murray Lachlan Young ... New Year's Eve Party Guest

Augustus Prew ... Ali
Alex Kew ... Simon Cosgrove

Mark Heap ... Math Teacher
Sunanda Biswas ... Def Penalty Kru
James Marshall-Gunn ... Def Penalty Kru
Jamie Mayer ... Def Penalty Kru
Korede Obashju ... Def Penalty Kru
Roger Brierley ... Mr. Chalmers, the M.C.
Stefan Pejic ... Apple Thrower
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Macéo Bhardwaj ... School Boy (uncredited)
Gillian Evans ... Herself - Lexicographer (archive footage) (uncredited)

Tim Rice ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Chris Tarrant ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Carol Vorderman ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Richard Whiteley ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Stuart Wood ... Himself (uncredited)

Directed by
Chris Weitz 
Paul Weitz 
Writing credits
Nick Hornby (novel)

Peter Hedges (screenplay) and
Chris Weitz (screenplay) &
Paul Weitz (screenplay)

Produced by
Nicky Kentish Barnes .... co-producer
Tim Bevan .... producer
Liza Chasin .... co-producer
Robert De Niro .... producer
Brad Epstein .... producer
Eric Fellner .... producer
Lynn Harris .... executive producer
Debra Hayward .... co-producer
Nick Hornby .... executive producer
Hardy Justice .... co-producer
Jane Rosenthal .... producer
Original Music by
Damon Gough  (as Badly Drawn Boy)
Cinematography by
Remi Adefarasin (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Nick Moore 
Casting by
Priscilla John 
Production Design by
Jim Clay 
Art Direction by
Gary Freeman 
Rod McLean (supervising art director)
Set Decoration by
John Bush 
Costume Design by
Joanna Johnston 
Makeup Department
Carmel Jackson .... makeup artist
Graham Johnston .... hair designer
Graham Johnston .... makeup designer
Lorna McGowan .... makeup artist
Laura McIntosh .... makeup artist
Nora Robertson .... makeup artist
Katya Thomas .... makeup artist: Ms. Weisz
Production Management
Bernard Bellew .... production manager
Virginia Landis Albertson .... post-production supervisor
Graham Stumpf .... post-production supervisor
Lucy Williams .... unit manager
Michelle Wright .... executive in charge of production: Working Title Films
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ben Howarth .... second assistant director
Christopher Newman .... first assistant director (as Chris Newman)
Alex Oakley .... third assistant director
Alex Kaye-Besley .... additional third assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Harry Alley .... painter
Joe Alley .... carpenter (as Joseph Alley)
Barry Arnold .... stand-by props
Roy Biggs .... stagehand
John Bohan .... construction manager
John Botton .... dressing props
Darryl Carter .... carpenter (as Daryl Carter)
Roy Chapman .... chargehand dressing props
John Cloke .... stand-by painter
Paul Duff .... stand-by carpenter
Peter Duffy .... carpenter
Jools Faiers .... art department graphics (as Jules Faiers)
Michael Finlay .... scenic painter
Heidi Gibb .... draughtsman
Barry Gibbs .... property master
Nick Goodall .... carpenter (as Nicholas Goodall)
David Haberfield .... scenic painter
Rosie Hardwick .... assistant art director
Bill Hargreaves .... chargehand stand-by props
Robert Harper .... painter
Nigel Hughes .... scenic artist
James Hunt .... scenic artist
David Jones .... supervising stagehand
Eamon McLoughlin .... head carpenter
Steve Mitchell .... supervising scenic artist
Harriet Orman .... production buyer
Darryl Paterson .... storeman
Chris Seddon .... drapes
Len Serpant .... stand-by stagehand
Michael Standish .... production buyer (as Mike Standish)
Jeff Sullivan .... painter
Richard F. Ward III .... art department assistant (as Richard Ward)
Clive Ward .... head painter
Stephen Weston .... wood machinist
Kevin Wheeler .... dressing props
David Williamson .... stand-by carpenter
Robert Wishart .... chargehand carpenter
Terry Heggarty .... painter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Jaya Bishop .... boom operator
Christian Bourne .... sound assistant
Chris Carpenter .... re-recording mixer
Colin Cooper .... adr recordist
Norval D. Crutcher III .... adr editor (as Norval Crutcher III)
Tony Dawe .... sound mixer
Gary S. Gerlich .... sound editor (as Gary Gerlich)
Lee Gilmore .... apprentice sound editor
Marilyn Graf .... foley editor
William Hooper .... sound editor
Andy Koyama .... re-recording mixer
Richard LeGrand Jr. .... supervising sound editor
Jaime Lunn .... mix assistant engineer
Bob McNabb .... adr supervisor (as Robert McNabb)
Bill Meadows .... sound recordist
Patrick O'Sullivan .... sound editor
Bryan Pennington .... sound consultant: Dolby
Philip Rogers .... adr recordist
Walter Spencer .... dialogue editor
Ted Swanscott .... adr mixer
Samuel Webb .... assistant sound editor
James Ashwill .... foley mixer (uncredited)
Joe DeAngelis .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Nerses Gezalyan .... foley recordist (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Derek Ledbetter .... visual effects (uncredited)
Graeme Crowther .... stunt coordinator (as Graham Crowther)
Camera and Electrical Department
John Adefarasin .... camera loader
Rene Adefarasin .... camera loader
John Arnold .... key grip
Sam Barnes .... camera loader
Keziah Barton-White .... video assistant
Stuart Bunting .... grip
David Cozens .... focus puller
Andy Edridge .... grip
Ian Franklin .... best boy
Charlie Grainger .... camera trainee
Peter Hawkins .... h.o.d. rigger
Dennis Holiday .... rigging electrician
Jamie Mills .... electrician
Barrie More .... rigging gaffer
Dave Moss .... electrician (as David Moss)
Jay Jay Odedra .... focus puller
Peter Robertson .... Steadicam operator
Peter Robertson .... camera operator: "a" camera
Laurie Sparham .... still photographer
Tammo van Hoorn .... focus puller (as Tammo Van Hoorn)
David Wall .... rigging electrician (as David 'Jim' Wall)
Chris Warren .... video assist operator
Jimmy Wilson .... gaffer
Danny Young .... generator operator
Sean Young .... stand-by rigger
Ben Battersby .... additional clapper loader (uncredited)
Philip Coleman .... second grip (uncredited)
Nick Matthews .... video assistant: dailies (uncredited)
Andy Thomson .... crane operator (uncredited)
Ben Wilson .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Vanessa Baker .... adr voice casting
Laura Dickens .... casting assistant
Brendan Donnison .... adr voice casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Devina Artley .... costume department runner
Martin Chitty .... costume assistant
Louise Egan .... costume assistant
Claire Finlay .... costume supervisor
Helen Mattocks .... key set costumer
Guy Speranza .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Julian Andraus .... second assistant editor
Tania Clarke .... assistant editor: avid, UK
Paul Clegg .... second assistant editor
Simon Cozens .... first assistant editor
Mike Fraser .... dailies telecine (as Mike Frasers)
Mike Jackson .... first assistant editor
Sara Lineberger .... post-production coordinator
Jim Passon .... color timer
Theresa Repola Mohammed .... negative cutter
Brock Stoneham .... apprentice editor
David Wheal .... editing department trainee
Music Department
Nick Angel .... music supervisor
Andy Brown .... orchestra contractor
The Cambridge Singers .... musician
Paul Englishby .... on-set music advisor
Damon Gough .... music producer (as Badly Drawn Boy)
Charles Martin Inouye .... supervising music editor
Stephen McLaughlin .... music producer (as Steve McLaughlin)
Stephen McLaughlin .... score mixer (as Steve McLauglin)
Kathy Nelson .... executive in charge of film music: Universal Studios
Tom Rothrock .... music producer
Patrick Seymour .... conductor
Patrick Seymour .... music arranger
Geoff Foster .... score recordist (uncredited)
Rene Garza Aldape .... music editor (uncredited)
Alexandra Hill .... music assistant (uncredited)
Jake Jackson .... score engineer (uncredited)
Kirsten Lane .... music consultant (uncredited)
Jonathan Sacks .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Jimmy Batchelor .... driver: minibus
Steve Boyd .... facility driver
Alan Burrows .... driver: stand-by prop
Andy Cooper .... driver: camera truck
Peter Devlin .... unit driver
Ian Drinkwater .... driver: minibus
Eric Francks .... unit driver
Peter Gathard .... facility driver
Gordon Hampton .... facility driver
Ian Johnson .... driver: construction run around
Townsley Knott .... transport facilities (as Townley Knott)
Steve Mangar .... facility driver
Ron Narduzzo .... unit driver (as Ronald Narduzzo)
Graham Pamment .... driver: makeup truck
Terry Reece .... unit driver
Tony Smith .... facility driver
Colin Thompson .... facility driver
John Tiny Topping .... driver: dining bus (as Tiny Topping)
Jason Vanezis .... unit driver
Michael Ward .... driver: costume department (as Mike Ward)
Willies Wheels .... facility driver: location
Mark White .... transportation
Nigel Williamson .... driver: props
Kim Worley .... driver: makeup truck
Peter Devlin .... transportation coordinator (uncredited)
Other crew
Vicki Allen .... floor runner
Kellie Belle .... product placement manager
Paul Cafferty .... post-production accountant: US, R.C. Baral & Company, Inc
Richard Cain .... UK liaison to the Weitz Brothers
Neil Chaplin .... production accountant
James Chasey .... stand-in: Mr. Grant
Nikki Clapp .... script supervisor
Jo McLaren Clark .... craft service: Natural Addition
Philip Clark .... location scout
Manuela Cripps .... assistant production coordinator
Sara Curran .... head of legal and business affairs: Working Title Films
Wayne Docksey .... animal handler: fish
Kevin Early .... location assistant
Matt Eddy .... production executive: Weitz Brothers
Paul Englishby .... guitar teacher
Louise Fernandez .... location scout
Steve Fletcher .... tutor
Mike Fraser .... rushes transfer
Michael Gaster .... set intern
Shefali Ghosh .... chief financial officer: Working Title Films
Pauline Gill .... stand-in: Toni Collette
Tom Glaisyer .... runner (as Tony Glaisyer)
Ruth Halliday .... script clearance
Tarn Harper .... post-production accountant
Steve Hart .... location manager
Glenis Hoult .... chaperone
Paul Jackson .... health and safety
Aliza James .... assistant: Eric Fellner, Working Title Films
Michael Johnstone .... craft service: Natural Addition
Ann Lynch .... production coordinator
Meghan Lyvers .... assistant: Jane Rosenthal
Stacy Mann .... unit publicist
Jill McCullough .... voice and dialogue coach
Callum Metcalfe .... assistant: Tim Bevan, Working Title Films
Paul Monaghan .... production runner
Angela Morrison .... chief operating officer: Working Title Films
Rob Nash .... piano teacher
Caroline Oxley-Mcleod .... nurse
David Pinnington .... location supervisor
Joy Pollard .... tutor
Samar Pollitt .... runner (as Sam Pollit)
Jason Potter .... accounts assistant
Albert G. Ruben .... insurance: AON
Renee Ryel .... post-production accountant: US, R.C. Baral & Company, Inc.
Sheeraz Shah .... vice president legal and business affairs: Working Title Films
Emma Short .... assistant accountant
Jack Steed .... stand-in: Nicholas Hoult
Emily Stewart .... production assistant: Working Title Films
Dathi Sveinbjarnarson .... floor runner
Katharine Tidy .... food stylist
Lucy Wainwright .... legal advisor: Working Title Films
Polly Wilby .... assistant post-production accountant
Sara Woodhatch .... assistant: Hugh Grant
Sarah Jane Wright .... production executive: Working Title Films (as Sarah-Jane Wright)
Patrick Corcoran .... executive assistant: Allison Shearmur (uncredited)
Robin Demetriou .... catering supervisor (uncredited)
Neil Barrett .... thanks
John Richmond .... thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some thematic elements
101 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Jon Bon Jovi, who both Marcus and Will attribute the phrase "no man is an island" used the quote in the opening lyrics for the song "Santa Fe" from his soundtrack for the movie Young Guns II (1990).See more »
Continuity: When Marcus is watching his mother cry in the kitchen while she prepares breakfast towards the start of the film, a centre parting appears in his fringe that was not previously there, then disappears and reappears.See more »
[Fiona is crying]
Fiona:Will, am I a bad mother?
Will:No. No, you're not a bad mother. You're just a barking lunatic.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Home Bound (2014)See more »
Feliz NavidadSee more »


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76 out of 89 people found the following review useful.
Effective, Satisfying Film, 6 June 2002
Author: jhclues from Salem, Oregon

Being afforded a life of independent means can be a blessing in some regards, perhaps, but it can also be the definitive test of one's character. If one chooses to use such a situation toward altruistic ends, or at the very least a venture that can provide some personal fulfillment, it says something about who that person is. On the other hand, if one squanders the opportunity on a totally self-absorbed, shallow existence, it says even more. And while taking the latter path may provide some interesting moments, it's a cosmetically created, external bubble that serves no other purpose than covering up an empty life, and sooner or later-- to anyone with even a modicum of intelligence-- that bubble is bound to burst; and when it finally happens, when the wake-up call comes, how one responds to it is the ultimate test of character, which is what happens to a such a man in `About A Boy,' directed by Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz, and starring Hugh Grant.

As far as Will Freeman (Grant) is concerned, he has the perfect life; he lives comfortably, if not extravagantly, on the income provided by a certain kind of inheritance. On the surface, at least, he's happy. Admittedly, however, he's the very epitome of `shallow,' who makes a conscious and concerted effort at avoiding any commitment in relationships, or even attempting to accomplish or achieve anything at all. He merely takes from life, gives absolutely nothing back and has always been content with it. But of late, his relationships have become a bit `sticky.' Women are becoming too demanding, the break-ups too messy. He needs a new conquest, a relationship in which he can flex his shallowness anew, with a woman who will give him everything and demand nothing in return.

Fortuitous circumstances provide him with just what he's looking for; fortuitous, however, in a way he doesn't realize, as it leads to a relationship through which he encounters a young boy, Marcus (Nicholas Hoult). And it's a meeting that is destined to have an enormous impact on his life, as Marcus becomes the catalyst that changes Will's entire perspective. For the first time, Will begins to question who he is, and what he's doing-- or not doing-- with his life.

Telling this story (adapted for the screen by Peter Hedges and the Weitz brothers, from the novel by Nick Hornby) presented a challenge to the filmmakers, in that it's nothing really new; the history of the cinema is filled with stories of individual epiphanies, many along the same lines as this one (recently, `The Kid,' with Bruce Willis, for example). So a fresh approach and presentation, including the kind of performances they could extract from their actors, was essential for this film to attain any distinction whatsoever. Which it does, and splendidly. And, moreover, they succeed on all fronts. The screenplay is intelligent, and the characters-- especially Will and Marcus' mom, Fiona (Toni Collette)-- are convincingly well developed. With Will, there is no sudden leap into who he becomes by the end of the film; it comes though a gradual recognition and realization of who he is, after first establishing a starting point from which the character can grow. The same is true of Fiona. There's detours and set-backs which-- as in real life-- prevent a direct journey from point A to point B, and create the proverbial sticky wicket along the way. Weitz and Weitz set a good pace, and most importantly, manage to give their film some real heart without lapsing into any melodramatic, maudlin sentimentality. Rather, the sentiments and situations they express are real and believable, and presented in such a way as to afford the audience any number of elements to which they can genuinely relate.

As Will, Hugh Grant gives arguably his best performance ever. In some respects, Will is similar to other characters Grant has created (most notably Daniel in `Bridget Jones's Diary'), but there's a depth to Will he's never previously managed to achieve, and without question this is his most three-dimensional, fully developed character yet. Grant has a natural charm and a charismatic screen presence, but his presentation is often tinged with a bit of pretentiousness that is entirely absent here. He does an especially nice job of effecting Will's transition in very real and credible terms, and by the end, it's obvious that this is a side of Grant we have not seen before; with this role, he has effectively expanded his range as an actor. In the final analysis, it's a performance with real substance, and it makes Will a truly memorable character.

The young Hoult brings Marcus convincingly to life, as well, with an extremely natural performance, in which he commendably manages to avoid the trappings of stereotype into which this character could easily have fallen. Some credit must go to his directors, of course, but it's Hoult who makes it especially believable in the way he responds, for instance, to certain given situations that typically seem to evoke a particular reaction when being depicted on screen (his rather introspective response to the taunts of his school mates, for example; quite different than what is usually portrayed in film). And in their scenes together, Grant and Hoult strike a chord of reality that finally assures the overall success of this film.

The supporting cast includes Rachel Weisz (Rachel), Isabel Brook (Angie), Sharon Small (Christine), Victoria Smurfit (Suzie) and Nat Gastiain Tena (Ellie). Entertaining, as well as insightful, `About A Boy' gives a truly fresh perspective to an element of the human condition that has been explored before, but rarely as effectively. The Weitz Brothers make the subject of their film accessible to a wide audience, and in a way that is engaging and satisfying. This film is going to be a pleasant surprise to many who see it, in that it delivers a whole lot more than most would expect. And that's the magic of the movies. 9/10.

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