A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism (2009)
"Sólskinsdrengurinn" (original title)

 |  Documentary  |  2 April 2010 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 209 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 1 user | 12 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

The mother of an autistic child is determined not to accept the pessimistic prognosis for her son.

Watch Trailer
0Check in
2 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Horse Boy (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY chronicles the journey of the Isaacson family as they travel through Mongolia in search of a mysterious shaman who they believe can heal their autistic son. This... See full summary »

Director: Michel Orion Scott
Stars: Rupert Isaacson, Kristin Neff, Rowan Isaacson
Temple Grandin (TV Movie 2010)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A biopic of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who has become one of the top scientists in the humane livestock handling industry.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Claire Danes, Julia Ormond, David Strathairn
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Follows five autistic children as they work together to create and perform a live musical production.

Director: Tricia Regan
Stars: Hillary Aaron, Joe Aaron, Adam
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Director Bud Clayman documents his struggle with OCD and Asperger's Syndrome and how it derailed his plan to become a filmmaker.

Directors: Bud Clayman, Glenn Holsten, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Jeff Bell, Maurice Benard, Wayne Bickerstaff
United States of Tara (2009–2011)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A woman struggles to find a balance between her dissociative identity disorder and raising a dysfunctional family.

Stars: Toni Collette, John Corbett, Rosemarie DeWitt
David's Mother (TV Movie 1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Sally Goodson has been raising her autistic son David alone since her husband left many years ago. Now a social worker discovers that Sally has been dodging 'The System' to keep her son ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Allan Ackerman
Stars: Kirstie Alley, Sam Waterston, Stockard Channing
Fly Away (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The poignant yet humor filled story about a single mother of a teenager severely impacted by autism, forced to reckon with her daughter's future. As her child becomes an adult, what used to... See full summary »

Director: Janet Grillo
Stars: Beth Broderick, Ashley Rickards, Aramazd Stepanian
After Thomas (TV Movie 2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A true story about a couple's struggles to meet the challenges of their son's autism.

Director: Simon Shore
Stars: Keeley Hawes, Ben Miles, Sheila Hancock
Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love (TV Movie 1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young couple is overjoyed when they find out that, after having had two girls, the wife is pregnant again, and this time it will be a son. However, the boy turns out to autistic. Unhappy ... See full summary »

Director: Glenn Jordan
Stars: James Farentino, Kathryn Harrold, Stephen Elliott
Albert Nobbs (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Albert Nobbs struggles to survive in late 19th century Ireland, where women aren't encouraged to be independent. Posing as a man, so she can work as a butler in Dublin's most posh hotel, Albert meets a handsome painter and looks to escape the lie she has been living.

Director: Rodrigo García
Stars: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Another Year (2010)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A look at four seasons in the lives of a happily married couple and their relationships with their family and friends.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Friðrik Þór Friðriksson
Stars: Martin Compston, Gary Lewis, Peter Capaldi


Credited cast:
Margrét Dagmar Ericsdóttir ...
Documentary Host
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David G. Amaral ...
Himself - Interviewee
Simon Baron-Cohen ...
Himself - Interviewee
David Crowe ...
Himself - Interviewee
Taylor Crowe ...
Himself - Interviewee
Geraldine Dawson ...
Herself - Interviewee
Herself - Interviewee
Lisa Helt ...
Herself - Interviewee
Portia Iversen ...
Herself - Interviewee
Linda Lange ...
Herself - Interviewee
Catherine Lord ...
Herself - Interviewee
Joseph E. Morrow ...
Himself - Interviewee
Soma Mukhopadhyay ...
Herself - Interviewee
Tito Mukhopadhyay ...
Himself - Interviewee
Sally Rogers ...
Herself - Interviewee


The Sunshine Boy is a moving, compassionate portrayal of a mother's desperate quest to understand the perplexing condition that controls her son. A journey through different countries, where every stop-over opens a new path into the depths of autism - and places her son in a strikingly different perspective as it reaches the end. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

autism | hope | See All (2) »


Unlocking an autistic mind





Official Sites:




Release Date:

2 April 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$822 (USA) (24 September 2010)


$1,849 (USA) (5 November 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (anamorphic)
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

a compassionate, at times heart-wrenching, and informative documentary
27 August 2010 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

THE SUNSHINE BOY is a feature length documentary from Iceland about autism. Narrated by Oscar-winner Kate Winslet, it reveals a lot of startling statistics. One out of every 150 children will be diagnosed with some form of autism; the illness is four times more prevalent in boys than in girls; and 80% of marriages between parents of autistic children end in divorce. These disturbing statistics are fairly common in most countries around the world. But the film also defuses some of the myths surrounding autism. Many sufferers are quite intelligent but are unable to express themselves or demonstrate their knowledge adequately. Directed by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, the film follows Margaret Ericsdottir, a mother of Keli, her eleven-year-old autistic son, who is frustrated by the lack of treatment available in her native Iceland. Determined to discover as much as she can about this insidious affliction, her quest takes her to America and a number of experts and institutions that are working hard to perfect treatments to help sufferers. She also talks to a number of families with autistic children to find out more about how they cope. Her search eventually takes her to Austin Texas, where a program known as HALO (Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach) is having remarkable results.

Also known as A Mother's Courage: Talking Back To Autism, this is a compassionate, at times heart-wrenching, and informative documentary that also offers a glimmer of hope and is a realistic counterpoint to Hollywood films like Rain Man. There is some unnecessary padding here, and the film could have been trimmed and still make its points effectively.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Fantastic documentary- Everyone should see this kino_vamp

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: