The Strains of Boyhood, Brilliantly Portrayed (by swedeboi)
Andrew Cividino, in his feature-length directorial debut, has masterfully captured the behavior and stresses of typical adolescent boys. The slip-fighting, trash-talking, hijinks, humor, poor judgment, and friendship will take adult male viewers on a trip through time, and the attractive and engaging cast will capture female viewers as well.The movie's three teen leads-first-time actors Jackson Martin as the wimpy, red-haired Adam Hudson, Nick Serino as the mouthy, ever-challenging Nate, and Reece Moffett as Nick's brooding and likeable cousin Riley-carry the story like veterans, <more>
largely because they were given rope to suggest scenes, ad-lib lines, and be themselves. Serino won his role as Nate in a casting call in his native Thunder Bay, Ontario. When no suitable Riley was found, Nick suggested his real-life cousin Reece, also a local. Indeed, Rita Serino, who plays the cousins' grandmother, is their real-life grandmother! Such casting doesn't sound like a formula for good filmmaking, but, here, it works. The boys won two international awards for ensemble acting and each of them won a nomination, or award, for best supporting actor at a major film festival with Nick winning Best Supporting Actor at the Canadian Screen Awards "Canadian Oscars" . Needless to say, director Andrew Cividino cleaned up on major directorial awards, winning six.The entire story unfolds on location in the Sunnyside Beach community of Amethyst Harbour a few miles from Thunder Bay. While spending a summer with his parents there, Adam is befriended by Nate and Riley who are summering with their grandmother nearby. The trio engage in typical rambunctious behavior, much of it resisted by wimpy Adam, to include skateboarding, cliff jumping, wrestling, sling-shot wars, egging homes, tobacco chewing, stealing beer, playing basketball, falling from golf carts, and smoking pot. At one point, Adam balks at a 35-foot cliff jump. As Nate yells, "You coward inbred f-k...jump!!" from below, Riley turns to Adam and says, matter-of-factly, "Look, if you jump, the worst that's going to happen is that you might get physically injured. If you don't jump, there's a 100% chance that Nate's gonna mentally abuse you all summer for not jumping."But the plot is not all basketballs and beer. The mood darkens when Nate reveals a secret to Adam, one that alters his character. Then Nate brings the movie to a boil as the boys play a board game with Adam's parents. Irritated by a game rule, Nick goes on a frank, obscenity-laced rant in which he trashes his adult hosts and openly humiliates Riley, earning himself a bloody nose. Finally, the mood goes fully dark when a suggested coming-of-age theme drives Adam to tell a lie, a lie that brings the movie to an emotional and well-foreshadowed conclusion. Five of the last six words in the movie are f-bombs. Given the context, you won't even notice.The boys' interactions are typical, genuine, and believable, and the trio leads the viewer through an entire range of teen emotions from bored, funny, happy, lovesick, flip, fearful, sarcastic, melancholy, angry, jealous, embarrassed, courageous, and sad. If I find any fault, it's that the movie ends too soon. You could watch these three kids act all evening. The movie is a remake of a 2014 short film in which Reece and Nick also starred and is beautifully filmed and nicely scored.---------------------Exact Google Earth Filming Locations use 6-6-2017 imagery date Lakeside front yard, 48° 32' 35.34" N 88° 54' 13.39" W community fair scene House and lakeside front yard, 48° 32' 34.73" N 88° 54' 3.54" W Hudson's summer cabin; outdoor baseball toss scenes Back yard, 48° 32' 33.51" N 88° 53' 53.42" W trampoline scene Pier, 48° 32' 31.97" N 88° 53' 52.49" W pier scenes with Adam and Taylor and with boys chewing tobacco Sunnyside Beach, 48° 32' 32.25" N 88° 53' 51.82" W final scene with Adam and Riley Roadside, 48° 32' 35.58 "N 88° 53 51.36" W drunken Riley stuck in truck Recreational area, 48° 32' 37" N 88° 53' 58" W opening swing set scene; basketball scene; community games scene Sunnyside Beach, 48° 32' 32.68" N 88° 53' 33.74" W early wrestling scene Crystal Beach Variety Sunys gas station , 48° 32' 38.02" N 88° 54' 47.83" W beer theft scene The Fish Shop, 48° 32' 38.78" N 88° 54' 57.90" W fish shop scene Rocky cascade, 48° 32 '2.72" N 88° 56' 30.08" W Adam sitting on rock under bridge 35-foot cliff, Caribou Island, 48° 31' 34.21" N 88° 49' 39.26" W first cliff jump scene 100-foot cliff Todd's Cliff , Caribou Island, 48° 31' 39.60" N 88° 50 '1.60" W boating scene and final cliff jump scene The Sleeping Giant, 48° 20' 0.22" N 88° 54' 31.52" W multiple distant views
An expression of growing up in all its reality and in all its cruelty (by howard.schumann)
There are more coming-of-age films than masterpieces in the Louvre, but there are only a handful of them that have stood the test of time. First-time Canadian director Andrew Cividino's Sleeping Giant, an update of the short that won the youth jury prize at Locarno last year, may just join this select group. Winner of the award for Best Canadian First Feature Film at the Toronto Film Festival, it is the story of three very different teenage boys during a summer vacation in Northern Ontario. It is not a comedy about lovable misfits such as "Kings of Summer," but an expression of <more>
growing up in all its reality and in all its cruelty.The film is set in the rugged area around Lake Superior close to lush forests and breathtaking mountain ranges, beautifully photographed by cinematographer James Klopko. The title refers to the huge rock formation near Thunder Bay known as Todd's Cliff which was named after the individual who survived the 100-foot drop. The title, however, can also apply to the anger building in 15-year-old Adam Jackson Martin , a sensitive, slightly effeminate boy with a shaky self image. Adam, who does not seem to have an offensive bone in his body, is the odd man out in his collection of friends which includes cousins Nate Nick Servino and Riley Reece Moffett . The boys are staying with their Grandmother Rita Serino but would not look out of place in a juvenile detention facility.They are tough, sarcastic, and funny, but troubled people who often seem numb to human emotion. Though the three live in different social and economic worlds, Adam seems content just to be included and his eyes seem to fix on Riley, an abrasive but still saner version of his noxious cousin Nate. During a wrestling contest on the beach, a bloodied Adam hits his head on a rock but all Riley can say is "Stop being a pussy." Adam has come up to Thunder Bay with his well off parents, his mom and pseudo-hipster dad William David Disher, "My Father and the Man in Black" who knows all the right words to ingratiate himself with the teenagers.When William invites Riley for dinner, Nate has a ton of nasty and sarcastic things to say about parents, suggesting the reason why the boys are staying with their Grandmother. Riley is not adverse to stirring the pot either and, when he happens to glimpse Adam's dad making out with Marianne, Erika Brodzky a local fish market owner, he spills the beans to Adam who takes it very hard. The normally placid boy begins spying on the woman, and his personality takes on a harder edge as he joins the others in getting high and robbing a liquor store. Tension, jealousy, and confusion arise between the three boys, however, as Adam and Riley both set their sights on a local girl named Taylor Katelyn McKerracher , though for Adam she is "just a friend." Though much of time is spent with innocent pleasures such as playing board games, walking in the woods, jumping into the water from rocks, or wrestling, there is a sense of foreboding hanging over the film that shifts the mood quickly. This happens when the fun of playing a board game triggers a bloody brawl between Nate and Riley and when a summer afternoon outing is darkened by the smashing of the carcass of a dead bird. It is only when the boys succumb to peer pressure and attempt to prove their manhood that things get so far out of hand that there is no back to turn to.Unlike films with similar themes in which adults look back at their youth with nostalgia, in Sleeping Giant there is no looking back, only the immediacy and visceral impact of a powerfully real experience. Backed by the indie-rock sounds of Toronto-based Bruce Peninsula and an original score by Chris Thornborrow, brilliant performances by the three young men fully capture the lived-in quality of people coming-of-age right before our eyes. It is a film that feels as if you are watching it in real time and when the realization that our lives can change in an instant hits you in the gut, you wish it was just a movie rather than a familiar experience.
You have to be in the mood for this great film (by siderite)
Imagine a movie that seems a montage of home video shots of three young teens having a summer vacation, which feels both whimsical and real. It slowly, very slowly builds up towards the tragic ending where characters get to live or die with their choices.It was an interesting movie, an original story, with great acting all around. However, be warned that you just have to be in the mood to appreciate this. It is not a fun teen comedy nor is it a dark dramatic thriller, but a realistic foray into the adolescent psyche.It is also pretty low budget, although I think masterfully done. This is <more>
not a blockbuster that you can enjoy with your friends over beer and pizza, but a thought provoking movie that only a few people heard about and even fewer saw. But I believe it is worth viewing.
This movies isn't so much a "coming of age" story as it is a glimpse into the cause and effect of various character's actions and emotions.The movie is filmed beautifully. Something about the way it was filmed almost felt voyeur-like. It's a slow telling -- people looking for action, adventure or intense drama aren't going to enjoy it. For the most part, the teens convey a believable apathy, and the angst that is presumably just under the surface stays there under a veil of boredom and is just alluded to by the cinematography.The teen characters are solid. They <more>
perfectly embody the flippant and nonchalant attitude of that age group. Their conversations and interactions were natural, and thankfully, none of them were precocious, precious or inherently bad. All in all, it was a very languid telling of minor actions and their major consequences.
A mesmerising Greco-Canadian tragedy (by joeravioli)
You could be forgiven for thinking that this is a monster film, but the "Sleeping Giant" to which the title refers is not actually some great, dozing behemoth. Rather, the giant in question is the pent- up, sleeping aggression that boils in a boy's mind, his violent nature that, for the good of himself and others, must be kept hidden and forgotten. Andrew Cividino's debut film, a haunting piece about three teenage boys who battle through their boredom on the shores of Lake Superior, explores this unsettling reality of the teenage experience with startling precision and a <more>
steady hand. With the majority of modern teenage cinema focussing on serving up ridiculous morbidity and sex objects on a badly-made platter Hunger Games, I'm looking at you and the celebrated classics of the genre focussing on created a homogenized teenage reality with which we supposedly all identify Boyhood, I'm looking at you this film, a film that dares to show a little truth, is an especially timely slap in the face. Not only that, but I can say with confidence that Sleeping Giant is the best film I've seen all year.Jackson Martin plays the protagonist of the film, Adam, a reticent fifteen-year old who exists, along with his friends Nate and Riley, in a state of perpetual boredom. Although the other two readily participate in all sorts of strange little schemes, it's Nate who drives them from one distraction to the next. Riley shares Nate's restlessness, but lacks the recklessness and bravado that solidifies Nate as the leader of the bunch. And Adam serves as the quiet voice of moderation, who goes mostly ignored, teetering on the fine line between retaining his principles and belonging with the people around him.It isn't just his friends who make him feel this way. Adam's father treats Riley better than he treats Adam, and the girl he likes, Taylor, is making eyes at Riley. But what is Adam to do? Living a secluded life and brimful of boredom, his friends offer the only available respite. So he goes along, robbing convenience stores their getaway vehicle is a golf cart , smoking weed in a bum's trailer, and in a particularly anarchic scene, tying a firecracker to a skateboard. As the boys test the limits of their power, they grow more confident, more fearless, almost even suicidal. But don't you dare think that you're in for a coming-of-age film. This isn't a film about maturation. It's a film that addresses its subjects: teenage boys. It explores their hearts and minds, and the toxicity lurking in them. Nate is a stone-cold psycho, but it's frightening how recognizable he is. His dialogue is vulgar and bloated, but not unrealistic. And Nick Serino's performance is worthy of commendation ten times over.The direction is fantastic. The film is shot in an unabashedly Canadian fashion, reveling in the landscape and in bodies rather than faces. For a debut, the subtlety is incredible. Brief suggestions and striking lines capture our attention and urge us to think about their implications. Part of it is sheer guesswork, but some of it pays off. If anything, it makes the film a more engaging experience. Cividino's film is autobiographical in more ways than one. First of all, the setting is gathered straight from Cividino's childhood. But more importantly, the film reflects how he experienced those lonely shores, how he coped with boredom, and how poisonous his options were. As Adam descends further into juvenile savagery, he begins to develop strange -- but admittedly relatable -- little habits. He becomes fascinated with a fishmonger that his father is having an affair with, going so far as to place a telescope outside her house and watch her undress. He lies to his parents, Taylor, and finally to his friends.The final confrontation refers back to ancient Greek tragedies. The threads of fate are tied by this point, we know what's going to happen, and when it does, we realize that it didn't even need to, which makes it all the more heartbreaking. The only thing the film lacks is a real ending. Sure, it ends, but it seems to come out of nowhere. Something momentous has happened, at least in my mind, but the ending doesn't seem to do the harsh beauty of the film justice, freeze-framing the story in a way that's very, very unsatisfying. This is a problem, but still only a minor blunder that I'll admit is subject to taste.As they say, boys will be boys. And guess what? They're right.
A familiar trope, a refreshing take (by RGeoffBaker)
This is not the first 'coming of age' film, nor will it be the last. It is however a refreshing take on this familiar theme.The film is a slow build, that covers a summer in what is Canada's 'cottage country' but could be anywhere in North America, but for some minor nationalisms. Cinematography nicely celebrates the wilderness, while the editing nicely mimics the YouTube aesthetic that informs much of today's youth media.This is a particularly, almost entirely, male vision of coming of age. The three young male leads are credible and familiar -- struggling to present <more>
themselves as adult, unsure of how to assert their masculinity, the role models they observe are flawed or absent. One of the three has a father; he reveals himself to be cad. Another has been abandoned to his grandmother by parents who are absent emotionally and physically. The third is revealed to have lost his father to suicide. They turn to a local man, himself trapped in adolescence despite his age -- but though his routine of video games, pot smoking and petty crime amuses, even the boys recognize the essential hollowness of his life.Women in this story are thinly drawn: the mother that still sees her son as a child; the grandmother that can but dote; the 'girlfriend' whose own budding sexuality has her as confused as the boys; the mistress ... Ultimately and interestingly, the story is often summarized as of the struggle between two of the boys for the attention of the girl. But this is only partially, and not entirely, true.There are many struggles at work in this film. Two of the boys are 'from away' -- and anyone with cottage country experience understands immediately that dynamic. The one boy who lives full time in the region knows himself to be an outsider to the modern world, which is revealed to him only through the internet and movies, often porn. There is a material class conflict at play, with those that enjoy beach front summer homes and those that support this industry. There is the struggle of success at education -- ultimately the trigger that begins the final tragic act begins with a snub of one boy's 'school smarts' or lack there-of. And there is the struggle for sexual satisfaction.Interestingly, the sexual angle is not a simple triangle. Or better put, it is, but not the one expected. The competition for the girl is actually much more sophisticated in the filmmakers execution, and is never fully revealed as some reviewers simplify. In fact, there is as much suggestion that there is a sexual struggle between the boys for one another. The 'girl' is well positioned to be a barrier to the homoerotic yearnings of the star as she is to be the reward. The protagonist is struggling with his friend's attachment to the girl -- but is it because he's losing the boy, or the girl? Smartly, the film leaves the question unresolved. And hints that the character himself is undecided ...The film is well acted by amateurs, or better put the director pulls very convincing performances from inexperienced talent. The narrative is informed by a believable view of the dynamics at work between young-old, wealthy-poor, city-country, male-female. A promising first effort, I'll keep my eye open for more from this director.