6.6/10
10,681
29 user 64 critic

December Boys (2007)

One summer, four orphans boys who have grown to be the closest of friends find themselves competing for the attention of the same family.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (novel) | 1 more credit »

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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bandy
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Fearless
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Teresa
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Narrator / Adult Misty
Kris McQuade ...
Mrs. McAnsh
Ralph Cotterill ...
Shellback
Frank Gallacher ...
Father Scully
Paul Blackwell ...
Watson
Judi Farr ...
Reverend Mother
Carmel Johnson ...
Sister Beatrice
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Storyline

An adult nicknamed Misty is narrating a story about one summer in his life when he was an adolescent in the late 1960s. He was living in a Catholic orphanage in the Australian outback. His best mates were the "December boys" - Maps, Spark and Spit - the four of them so named because they were the boys in the orphanage born in the month of December. With a recent windfall, the orphanage decided to give each of the boys a group vacation for each of their birthdays, the December boys the first to go. Their vacation was to Lady Star Cove on the Australian coast, to stay at the home of Mrs. and Mrs. McAnsh - Bandy and "Skipper". Their relatively carefree Christmas vacation took a turn primarily from three events: learning the reason the McAnshes hosted the boys specifically at this time; Maps, the oldest in his mid-teens, exploring his sexuality with a girl named Lucy, who was also visiting Lady Star Cove for the summer; and Misty secretly learning that a young couple in the cove, Fearless... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

After that summer nothing would ever be the same again.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, nudity, underage drinking and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

20 September 2007 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Un verano para toda la vida  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,810 (USA) (14 September 2007)

Gross:

$46,474 (USA) (28 September 2007)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shia LaBeouf was considered for the lead role, but his scheduling conflicted with Disturbia (2007) and Transformers (2007). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Maps: Just remember Misty, no matter what, you're still a December boy.
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Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 6 October 2007 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Spirit in the Sky
Written and performed by Norman Greenbaum
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Lovely Film Indeed
21 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I believe many of the movie critics out there have been far too harsh in dismissing this film. I found it rather refreshing from the over-hyped, over sensationalized and big budget disappointments in the past few years. Many of the indie/low budget films are far better than what is making the big dollars and getting the heavy promotion these days.

December Boys is not a great film but it certainly is good and I found it very enjoyable. I laughed, I cried...and Mr, Radcliffe is definitely on his way to a long and successful career. He isn't the leading character although he is definitely the headlining star that without him this film probably would never have seen the light of day outside Australia. I thought his performance was wonderful. He may not have much dialog, but the sensitivity of his character comes across beautifully. I believe Mr. Radcliffe is underrated as an actor, one desperately trying not to be typecast and stereotyped a "the boy wizard". If the media would stop reminding us that he's Harry Potter, and let him be the untapped talent that he obviously is.... Give audiences credit that we can separate an actor from the role he plays. Frankly, not all of us are Potter fans and I don't see HP as this great literary work. It's an okay story that has benefited from brilliant marketing. However, I'm grateful because HP gave us a troupe of new and very talented young actors...and showcased just how many brilliant actors come from the UK.

Given many of the horrific child stars and forgettable cookie cutter actors out there in equally forgettable films , here is a young man that shows promise in the years to come. Give him a chance. He is obviously trying very hard to be more than what he's been painted since he was 10. Maps isn't a huge stretch, but a stepping stone from Potter. You can see where Radcliffe was in terms of acting ability right after Potter 4. He is easing his way delicately from his alter ego. Then he demolished his Mickey Mouse Club image with Equus. It's a shame that wasn't made into a film. He was truly brilliant as Alan Strang.

Granted this film (like others with A-list stars, mind you) has its trouble spots, but it still doesn't detract that it was beautifully shot and some of the acting was impeccable. Radcliffe has notably excelled further since this film was made over two years ago. Equus showcased that he isn't a one trick pony and that we really do have someone worth looking forward to as a brilliant actor in the future.

This film isn't perfect, but I just saw two other films this week that had huge plot holes and continuity errors, etc, so-so acting performances with clichéd plots and so forth but still garnered high praise. Maybe its the high profile stars or those producing/promoting these films. I just don't understand critics sometimes. I don't think anyone expected Oscar-caliber from this film or Radcliffe, but at the same time it is a helluva lot better than other films released this year. To be honest, I would have been disappointed in Radcliffe if he chose some dopey tween flick that seems to be the calling card of American young stars. Herbie Fully Loaded and High School Musical are such great films after all. Radcliffe could cash in on his current fame like the others and make trash, and be the poster boy of the tabloids but he doesn't. That should count for something. I'd rather read more about him than the likes of Lindsay, Paris and Britney any day of the week. .

I have seen complete garbage nominated for Oscars in the past and lately I don't put too much stock into many movie critics that give "A" ratings to films that I cannot believe someone paid money to even make let alone ones that I would waste my money on.

There's nothing wrong with a film that has a simple story line....a feel good movie thats enjoyable to watch. It doesn't have to have grotesque violence, language and explicit sex scenes. Probably one reason I love old Hollywood and independent films. Generally, I find these films wonderful (and many great ones) and ones that are worth the ticket price and buying the DVD. I can't say that about most of the films that are released every year nowadays.

It just seems this poor guy (Radcliffe) can't win for losing. If he released a candy/teenybopper flick he would have been crucified...he really takes a risk and goes for it with Equus and people freaked out that he wasn't a good role model for the Potter fans....oh, what a travesty! Yet he was a splash on the London stage and has obviously grown as an actor since this movie was made. Give the guy a break.....I think he will only get better and better with time. I know this was long winded, but I really champion this young actor. Not all Radcliffe fans are squealing 10 year olds.

The only thing I found worth to criticise in December Boys was the unclear time period and the time span in the aging of the characters at the end. Hardy unfortunately used music from different periods. The film looks to be set in the 60's but some of the music tells otherwise. And obviously the 'present day' older boys are too old, in my opinion by a couple decades.

Some say it was too sugar coated, etc...but there were many films in the golden age of Hollywood (which I loved) that would now be considered too chaste, too sweet, un-realistic...the list goes on and on. I would still take those movies (and this one) any day of the week over 95% of the garbage that is released today.

Forget the critics....go see December Boys.


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