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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
The film begins in the outback, but rather than making it a very red, very hot looking location, as we've seen so many times before, the producers kept a much more subdued feel to the outback scenes. Director Rod Hardy said: "There's a feeling in the orphanage that the Catholic Church is very much overseeing these boys, so we went for very subdued colour. As we progress through the story, the colours get brighter, and when they arrive at the carnival, there's a dancing of lights, and the colours are getting richer. By the time we get to the cove and the boys run freely across the sand, the sea is sparkling, and the sky is really blue. The change also progresses the mood of the film." 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 »
Just remember Misty, no matter what, you're still a December boy.
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To Jlin from the Emerald Isle .. methinks you had a little too much of the Hard Stuff ;-)
Whats it like to be an Orphan in the days of narrow mindedness and strange moral beliefs that were taught then ... this film portrays this well.
Excellent Cinema Photography and composition with some excellent stills and excellent script too with some pot shots at the ridiculous order that Nuns were and are today :( with their strange methods at handling Orphans not to mention their narrow minded beliefs.
The acting by the 4 orphan boys was very convincing as was the portrayal of how young boys behave like smoking after lights out in bed, or how the awareness of the opposite sex awakened their senses.
The orphans were the stars without a doubt the other adults competent enough Jack Thomson was somewhat wooden in his role.
To sum up an enjoyable film devoid of any nasties ... not a masterpiece by any means though.
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