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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Shy and withdrawn, Nathan (played by Stephan Bender) is new to his school, unusually smart (a grade ahead) and the silent tension at home nearly unbearable.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

The script was written three years before production began. See more »

Goofs

The story is set in the 1970s, but the car shown in the opening scenes is a Buick Roadmaster station wagon, which was produced from 1991 to 1996. Also, the refrigerator shown is a modern model, not one from the 70s. 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

 
Reality and Dreams and Where They Intersect
27 August 2010 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Back in 1995 Jim Grimsley published DREAM BOY, the second novel of his continuing examination of the coming of age in the South and followed by the equally popular COMFORT AND JOY, BOULEVARD, FORGIVENESS, MY DROWNING etc. It took many years of for James Bolton ('Eban & Charley', 'The Graffiti Artist') to decide to adapt this story to the screen, and while Bolton elected to replace much of the lyricism of Grimsley's prose with extended periods of non-verbal communication in the screenplay, the story of two high school kids coming to grips with a mutual attraction in the dank repressive aura of the South manages to still come through intact.

Nathan (Stephen Bender) is a quiet, reclusive sophomore in high school who is settling in to yet another move by his alcoholic, Bible-pounding, abusive father (Thomas Jay Ryan) and his sympathetic mother (Diana Scarwid). Next door lives handsome jock Roy (Maximillian Roeg) who befriends Nathan, shares homework, and when he is not with his girlfriend, offers Nathan rides in the school bus he drives. Exchanges of glances and the growth of mutual attraction between the boys lead to a very private but sincere physical relationship: Nathan does not share with Roy that he has suffered sexual abuse from his father. Roy and his buddies - Burke (a very promising Randy Wayne) and Randy (Owen Beckman) - begin to join the boys on swimming gigs and finally a camping trip that includes visitation of an old deserted and possibly haunted plantation house. What happens in this mysterious place provides the climax of the story - a brutal surprise ending that then transports the film into another dimension - a region the viewer must decide is satisfying or not.

There are some fine moments in this little low budget movie and the presence of Maximillian Roeg, Diana Scarwid, and Randy Wayne lifts the cast to a higher level of competence. Whether or not the viewer is willing to go along with the ending will make the vote for or against the film. Bolton does have a fine touch with stories about the coming out of young men in his films and his ability to capture the Gothic atmosphere of the South is solid.

Grady Harp


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