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Dream Boy (2008)

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Chronicles the relationship between two gay teenagers in the rural south in the late '70s.

Director:

James Bolton

Writers:

James Bolton, Jim Grimsley (based on the novel by)
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stephan Bender ... Nathan Davies
Thomas Jay Ryan ... Harland Davies
Diana Scarwid ... Vivian Davies
Tom Gilroy ... Preacher John
Maximillian Roeg ... Roy (as Max Roeg)
Randy Wayne ... Burke
Owen Beckman ... Randy
Rooney Mara ... Evelyn (as Tricia Mara)
Rickie Lee Jones Rickie Lee Jones ... Roy's Mother
Nick Ericson Nick Ericson ... Brother Will
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Storyline

Shy and withdrawn, Nathan (played by Stephan Bender) is new to his school, unusually smart (a grade ahead) and the silent tension at home nearly unbearable. Mom, Dad, and Nathan have moved constantly, town after town, landing, inexplicably, in god-fearing "St. Francesville". Roy (played by the multi-talented Max Roeg), a year older than Nathan, confident and hard-working, drives the bus to their school while a friendship blooms between them into a relationship that is fraught with confusion and yearning. But secrets pick at the relationship, the unspoken rules of their angst-driven interactions unravel as Nathan's world again comes crashing inwards. Tension crescendos as shame and terror, stress and disaster all compete to immobilize and destroy both of their worlds. Written by Christopher Panoply

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, and some violence including a rape - involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 December 2008 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Kluk snu See more »

Filming Locations:

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,243, 28 March 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,319, 27 June 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, Appian Way, expressed interest in investing in the film. See more »

Goofs

When Nathan meets Roy's mother, she asks if he goes to the Baptist church. Nathan says yes. But when Nathan is seen in church with his family and the preacher reads about Judas's betrayal, there is a large crucifix on the church wall. A second large crucifix is seen on the wall in Nathan's bedroom. Baptist doctrine denounces the use of crucifixes, and no Louisiana Baptist of the 1970s would have one in either their church or home. They are, however, quite common in Roman Catholic churches and homes in Louisiana. See more »

Soundtracks

On This Land (Feathers Keep Falling)
Written by Jesse Sykes
Performed by Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter
with Micah Hulscher on piano and Eric Eagle on drums
Recorded by Phil Wandscher
Additional recording and production by Randall Dunn at Aleph
Mixed by Randall Dunn
Published by Spooky American Music (BMI) administered by Bug
Jesse Sykes and The Sweet Hereafter appears courtesy of Barsuk Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Near perfect depiction of young, inarticulate love
18 September 2011 | by timothyjasonarnoldSee all my reviews

People watch movies for different reasons. Some people like an elaborate, fast-paced plot. Others enjoy the visual and audio experience. I am the kind of movie watcher who enjoys a well executed and consistent tone and mood. In "Dream Boy," the mood is both melancholy and sweet and there is a constant, if not always apparent, hint of anxiety and apprehension that builds throughout the movie. Capturing a mood is very difficult, and it relies on a number of factors including acting, cinematography, and music. While the acting of the supporting cast in "Dream Boy" can be somewhat inconsistent, the acting of the two main characters, Roy (Max Roeg) and Nathan (Stephan Bender), is very strong. I was particularly impressed with Bender whose performance reminds me of Gabourey Sidibe in "Precious." While it is true that the awkward, inarticulate teenager is well-trod territory in gay cinema, I've never seen the role acted so flawlessly. I was completely convinced that Bender was Nathan. Here we have a rare example of the kind of role that doesn't seem "acted" at all; it's as if Bender embodies the character. Sadly, I think actors with roles that are over-the-top, histrionic, and melodramatic often get the most praise, but it seems equally if not more difficult to portray a shy, introverted character, and the actors who really nail these roles often don't get the recognition they deserve (re: Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain). I've read some criticism that Bender's performance was "wooden," and it strikes me that if you were not an awkward, inarticulate teenager you might not be able to identify with the performance, but if you were the kind of kid who stayed inside most of the day you will probably find the portrayal of your former self incredibly accurate and moving.

There is a lot of attention paid to subtle, non-verbal forms of communication - glances, stares, half-smiles, physical contact - all of which create a much more realistic depiction of young, gay love than the more chatty gay coming-of-age movies that I'm used to seeing. All of that being said, I understand the disappointment with the ambiguous denouement, but plots are relatively tangential for me. If the actors and director manage to depict a convincing mood, then that is all I need to be satisfied, and they have certainly done that with "Dream Boy."


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