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Prime Suspect writer Allan Cubitt adapts U.K. sportswriter Simon Carr's autobiographical novel about a successful sports journalist who is suddenly saddled with the responsibility of raising two sons from different marriages, and whose unusual parenting philosophy "just say yes" brings them closer together than ever before. A quick witted rogue with a talent for covering sports, Joe Warr (Clive Owen) never took life seriously -- until the day his beloved wife died in the blink of an eye. But while Joe is absolutely overwhelmed with grief after losing his spirited soul mate, his six-year-old son, Artie (Nicholas McAnulty), is taking it even harder. Artie can't accept his mother's passing, and his troubling means of expressing his grief are only serving to make a bad situation worse. Suddenly, into the chaos of Joe's and Artie's lives wanders rebellious teenager named Harry (George MacKay). Harry is Joe's son from a previous marriage, and he's come from England to live with his father and stepbrother. Upon realizing that he's neither emotionally prepared nor equipped to take on the responsibility of being a single parent, Joe decides to throw the rules out the window and "just say yes" to every question his sons pose. The result is a household that's full of jubilance and energy, but constantly on the verge of calamity. Somehow, in the midst of all the chaos, something incredible happens -- the bereaved father and his two sons find the courage to move past their grief, and rediscover the joy of living.~Jason Buchanan
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Rated 5 out of 5 stars
This was an excellent movie, from the story to the acting, to even the camera work. It was a very touching piece. Mainly it was about how different people deal with the loss of a family member. And this didn't mean the death of one for all the characters. Clive Owen gave a brilliant performance as (Joe Warr)a grieving and now single father or a precocious little boy. He did drink heavily at first, but once he realized he had to deal with being a father he decided to become more mature. You couldn't ask for more from the six-year-old Nicholas McAnulty that played Artie. He was funny and cute and ill-tempered in just the right ways. He was the embodiment of how children do not know how to deal with the death of someone close. As for his older son from his first marriage. His name was Harry, he was played masterfully by George MacKay. This character was supposed to be moody and burned by his father's leaving him with his mother, who was now moved on with her life and had very little room for Harry in it. This is why he was so angry with his father. George portrayed all of this emotion quite brilliantly. He was the right person for this role. And has a promising future as an actor. He was angry and teen-age "I'm mad at my father" moody, and mature, and pleasant to his half brother... all in just the right ways. The only thing I hold against this movie, is that Joe was seemingly interested in another woman and it was never pursued. Although it would have been hard on Artie if his dad had moved on that quickly.
For performances and for the movie overall I give it a 9.5/10.
This review is from The Boys Are Back [DVD]