A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers.
The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Connecticut.
The film is based on Michael Noonan's novel and focuses on four orphans who leave their orphanage for a holiday by the sea. A rumor about two of the seaside residents possibly adopting one of the orphans causes tension to rise among the orphans. . Written by
The orphanage's "December Boys" are so called because they comprise the orphans who celebrate their birthdays in December. See more »
In the feature, the boy portrayed by Christian Byers is sometimes called "Spark" (07:09 by Reverend Mother, 05:20 by adult Misty, 15:55 and 20:33 by Spit) and sometimes called "Sparks" (03:33 by Maps, 19:51 by Misty), with the DVD captions spelling it however the actors say it. At 09:05, where their nicknames have been scrawled in dust on the tailgate of the vehicle, it is spelled "Spark". In the End Credits (01:41:18 to 01:41:25), it is spelled "Sparks". In the novel 'December Boys' on which the screenplay is based, one of five "December Boys" is named "Spark". See more »
December Boys is an overly sentimental and cliché ridden tale, but it has a special something that makes it work. That something is the engaging performances of the two major boys - Daniel Radcliffe and Lee Cormie.
The action takes place during a Christmas holiday of the late 60's or early 70's in Australia. The December boys are four boys from an outback orphanage whose birthdays fall in December. They are given a treat of a vacation at the shore provided by an older couple.
The four are three pre-adolescents - Sparks, Spit, and Misty (Cormie) - and one older boy who acts as the big brother of the younger three. He is Maps, played by Radcliffe. The story is told by Misty as an adult and contains many, probably mis-remembered, events of that eventful vacation.
The boys are hosted by an older couple with the man being played by Jack Thompson as Bandy. This is a bare-bones part, and Thompson's considerable talents are wasted. Bandy's wife is ill with cancer, and there are some interesting scenes of interactions with the boys but the couple plays a very small role in the whole thing.
The vacation cabin is in a small cove accompanied by several others, and the inhabitants of these neighboring cabins provide a number of interesting characters. The most interesting to the boys is a young, childless couple. They are seen as potential parents by the boys, and the three younger ones compete in a battle for their attention - led by Misty.
Maps is far more interested in a local teenage girl with whom he develops an intimate relationship. Because Radcliffe became famous as Harry Potter, Russell Edwards of Variety sarcastically states, "Destined to be forever known as Harry Potter Gets Laid ," but I saw much more in Radcliffe's portrayal of a teenager's first love. His performance is richly affecting.
December Boys is an entertaining combination of the vacation adventures and fantasies of four boys coupled with that longing purity of first love. It's not a great movie, but it gives the viewer a good feeling and gives this viewer some memories and emotions of times long passed.
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