ABOUT A BOY
hopscotchee: rachel weisz score: 70 rating: PG-13 time: 105 minutes
what is better than a cute and heartfelt early 2000s, british rom com about finding yourself, starring the one and only, mr. amazing hugh grant? hmm? yeah, we thought so. very slim, in actuality, stack up to the sentimental desirability of a simple, witty, and well-worth-your-time movie or grant's incredible talent to sneak into your heart. although some may hold the impression that older films don't age well, usually with the discretion that they're cheesy, we can assure you that this twelve year old adaptation of nick hornby's 1998 novel is packed full with sincere surprises. so, whether you're, similarly, a fan of hughie or, more importantly, nicholas hoult!! (yep, that's right. he's 'the boy'. we were gobsmacked too. our bud be young!!) we advise you to add a tender touch to your usual movie night and watch about a boy!!
immediately thought to mention is the snug and personal feel that this film captured right off the bat with it's intent to stay true to it's original interpretation, as it was based off a book, seen with the incorporation of voice overs serving as the direct narrator of the story. although totally standard to do with book-to-film movies, especially for early 2000 ones as it was practically a staple quirk to have back then, about a boy sets its voice over work apart by providing a uniquely greater purpose to the plot than just to relay it's former book origins or be considered trendy. specifically intricate to this story, having to juggle the storylines of two main characters, rather than simply one main character and a prominent side character, can be difficult to manage, equally wanting to give each person enough screen time and attention for the audience to understand their personality and evolution affecting the overall plot. to this point, it was cleverly necessary to use the voice overs to harmonize both will's and marcus' voices, indicating to the viewer switches in storylines and letting them in on vulnerable thoughts important to understand and appreciate their character growth by the end of the film. all that and the fact that we got to hear their lovely british accents some more made this decision to carry out with the voice overs acutely affective to the film.
of course the voice overs were just one minor note to the film's total effect, but, although unseen, it still made a tremendous impact to the enjoyment of the movie and was worth mentioning. however, something seen and just as influential to the viewer's attachment to characters were the costumes. a quirky side of casual, we couldn't get enough of marcus' fun, mainly knitted, outfits, particularly his (spoiler) bright blue cardigan with big, beige buttons, a red and green flower on the sleeve, gigantic, smiley-face sun diagonal from a cloud on the front, and stark rainbow taking up space in the back!! wholeheartedly crediting to marcus' admiration for his mom, (spoiler) hoping that it would cheer her up if he wore his mom's definitely home-made clothes, added to the personality and character traits of marcus in the film, doing exactly the intent of what costumes are supposed to do in cinema. especially when (spoiler) starting out with introducing will first before meeting marcus, his original fashion style helped the audience get to know his character some before actually getting to hear his perspective. but the clothes didn't just represent marcus...
to say nothing of (spoiler) marcus' rap would be an absolute mistake and fail on our part, so let's not have that. superiorly the highlight of the entire movie, this savored, one minute montage caught our attention with it's upbeat and correspondingly suave editing style that matched marcus' boost of confidence and freakin' adorable, 'feeling myself' strut down the school hall. greatly contributing to our peaked interests, the rapid compilation of inter-spliced shots contrasted from the film's gradual pace of editing, alerting engagement with this sudden switch in tempo. also, notably attributing to the scene's effective entertainment value was thanks to the smooth sounding mixing. layered between several shots across several different takes, this brief sequence established the film's impressive competence to play with the audience's attachment of emotions, giving viewers a light chuckle to elevate their mood from the weightier themes of the film such as (spoiler) will's self-sabotaging behaviors or fiona's attempt of suicide. importantly, this scene abides to the film's comedy roots, nicely balancing the two themes with humble regard.
and sure, technically speaking in the literal sense, there were some weaker components in the film. for example, the shot comp was a bit basic, not really keen to draw eyes in. despite there being enough variety of shots and angles to suffice, nothing was too showy to stand out. additionally, the added in score felt a little on the nose with the feelings experienced by the characters, taking a dramatic scene and overdoing it to a point, resulting in a poor impression and loss of impact. however, the content and heart that pumped through the body of this film was the movie's main focus, truly succeeding in that to be the main element you're watching for.
so, it is fair to say that even though this movie wasn't exactly strong all around, the movie's decision to make a quality of good time was greatly achieved, not taking too much away from the film which is a highly respected choice that was carried out nicely in the finished project.
-- thanks, rachel xo