Wallace, who is burned out from a string of failed relationships, forms an instant bond with Chantry, who lives with her longtime boyfriend. Together, they puzzle out what it means if your best friend is also the love of your life.
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
Apart from Daniel Radcliffe's role, the casting call search for the other three 'December Boys' stretched right across Australia and New Zealand. Over one thousand boys were seen before the final three successful applicants were chosen. 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 »
"What's the big deal about having parents anyway?"
Set in the late 60s, December Boys is a beautiful, poignant tale of adolescence and abandonment with the vast, awe-inspiring Australian outback as a backdrop, unraveled in the same vein as Stand By Me.
"What's the big deal about having parents anyway?" Maps (Daniel Radcliffe) retorts to his summer fling Lucy (Teresa Palmer). Maps is the eldest of four orphan boys who get sent for a seaside holiday with an elderly couple. Misty (Lee Cormie) is the youngest and the artistic one of the brood. Sparks (Christian Byers) is good with mechanical things, while Spit (James Fraser) is so named for what he does best.
Having been given a glimpse of what the orphans' lives have been like together, you have an idea of where Maps' trend of thought comes from. They've survived so far without parents, and they have had each other to call as family growing up. This just becomes more glaring as they interact with their host family's neighbors, and they get in an emotional competition for possible adoption that tests the limits of their brotherhood.
Unfulfilled expectations are shared by all characters regardless of age and situation, and this is the main theme that the audience empathizes with. It is heartbreaking to see their faces light up with hope at the possibility of winning the parent lottery only to be passed on time and time again. Rude awakenings and rejection are themes that most people can relate to after hardened years, but for children to already know it intimately at such an age is what makes December Boys the thoughtful tearjerker it is.
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