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Paladin Saves ‘Boy’ From Obscurity

Mark Urman’s discount and highly selective distributor Paladin have netted what could easily be a bonafide hit in Boy. Despite mixed reviews, Taika Waititi’s sophomore film (it didn’t make our must see cut when it premiered in Park City) could be a healthy alternative if considered for year-end showings.

Mark Urman’s discount and highly selective distributor Paladin have netted what could easily be a bonafide hit in Boy. Despite mixed reviews, Taika Waititi’s sophomore film (it didn’t make our must see cut when it premiered in Park City) could be a healthy alternative if considered for year-end showings.

Gist: Following in the man child pattern we previously saw in Eagle Vs. Shark, this father-son duel coming-of-age dramedy set in 1984, a time when Michael Jackson is king—even in Waihau Bay, New Zealand. Here we meet Boy, an 11-year-old who lives on a farm with his gran, a goat, and his younger brother, Rocky (who thinks he has magic powers).

Worth Noting: This is inspired by Waititi’s Oscar-nominated short, “Two Cars, One Night,” which Waititi developed into a feature at the Sundance Writer’s Lab.

Do We Care?: We consider ourselves fans, and not enthusiasts of his previous film and The Flight of the Conchords so in a high traffic release date we might overlook the title, but in a moderately busy weekend, this might be the top offering.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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