Posts Tagged ‘SON OF RAMBOW’

Maze mania: Young stars nearly cause riot at Canadian premier of The Maze Runner

erunnerImagine the roar of a jet engine. Then picture yourself being blown backwards by the ferocity of the sound.

That’s the experience I had recently when hosting the Canadian premier of The Maze Runner, a new film based on a popular YA novel about a group of boys (and one girl) who must brave the dangers of a giant labyrinth to gain not only freedom but also their true identities.

There wasn’t a plane in sight, just a theatre packed with young adults. When I made the surprise announcement that some of the film’s stars would be joining us for a Q&A, you would have thought a giant electrical surge had bolted through every seat in the house. As I brought Skins’ star Kaya Scodelario, Meet the Millers’ Will Poulter and Dylan O’Brien, resident heartthrob of Teen Wolf to the stage, the place erupted.

Ears ringing, I asked a few questions, trying to be heard above screams of “I love you!” Not directed at me, but mostly at O’Brien.

As the handsome actor answered a question on bringing the character traits of Thomas alive from the page to the stage, a young woman whooped, “Thomas is hot!” O’Brien played along, saying, “That’s what I really wanted to lift from the page, his hotness. I was really focused on that.”

“You nailed it!” came a voice from the audience.

The enthusiasm wasn’t reserved just for him. Scodelario, a British actress who plays the film’s fierce female lead, could barely be heard above the din as she talked about her character’s empowerment. “I felt very strong playing her,” she said.

“A lot of times in movies, Hollywood and the rest of the world try to soften female characters. We have to see them vulnerable and we have to see them crying, and while that is a part of who we are as women, we can also be tough …”

The rest of her message is lost to the ages, drowned out by, “You go, girl!” hollers and the general melee of excited millennials.

Poulter, a 21-year-old British actor with a resumé that includes the charming Son of Rambow and The Chronicles of Narnia blockbusters, provided comedic relief. When I asked if he modeled his American accent on anyone in particular, he said, “I had to give up modeling, but that’s very sweet. Thanks for asking.”

The trio answered questions, most of which started with, “I just want to say I love you guys,” and ended with the inevitable, “Is there any possibility of getting an autograph or a picture?” for 25 minutes before being whisked away to another city, another press day and another theatre likely full of screaming teens.


son-of-rambowA number of months ago Michel Gondry’s movie Be Kind Rewind gave us two characters who made their own versions of movies after they accidentally erased an entire video store worth of tapes. They made their crazy versions of films like Ghostbusters and When We Were Kings because they needed something to rent to their customers. It was a funny, touching film, but for my money a small British film about two kids who bond over their remake First Blood is more effective because the kids redo the movie because they want to, not because they have to. For the sheer love of the movies, give me Son of Rambow.

Set in a small English town during a summer school break in the early 1980s Son of Rambow is a coming of age story about two boys who bond over a shared enthusiasm for the first Rambo movie First Blood. Using a clunky video camera they learn life lessons as the making of their film becomes a metaphor for growing up.

Son of Rambow is an engaging, low key kid’s film that the whole family will enjoy. Aside from the appealingly unusual story the film’s main hook are the performances of the two young lead actors. Bill Milner as Will, an introvert being raised by his ultra-strict Plymouth Brethren mother and Will Poulter as wild child Lee both give natural performances without a hint of the precociousness that infects so many kid actors. Poulter in particular has a malleable face that seems to belong to a person much older than his ten or twelve years.

Son of Rambow is a deceptively simple look at the inner workings of the lives of complicated young boys that avoids the sentimentality that often mars films aimed at kids.