ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Movies & Movie Reviews

Movie Review: December Boys

Updated on March 21, 2011

December Boys is a film that was released in 2007, and stars Daniel Radcliffe (of Harry Potter fame), Lee Cormie, Christian Byers, James Fraser, Jack Thompson, Teresa Palmer, Sullivan Stapleton and Victoria Hall. Being a Harry Potter fanatic and curious about where Daniel Radcliffe's career will take him, my interest was piqued when I found this movie at the library.

December Boys
December Boys

Synopsis of the plot

Set in the 1960s in Australia, the film is about four young orphans - Misty, Maps, Spit and Sparks - who have grown up together and formed a bond that makes them as close as brothers. When the orphanage sends them on a seaside trip to Lady Star Cove, things change for the December boys, so named because they share the same birth month.

When the boys discover there's a possibility that one of them might be adopted, their friendship is tested as they begin to compete with each other in the hopes of being chosen. Only Maps, the oldest, played by Radcliffe, doesn't see the need to compete in this parent lottery - "what's the big deal about having parents anyway?" he says at one point. For him, the only family he needs is the three younger boys that he cares for so much and tries hard to watch over.

The December boys - Misty, Sparks, Spit and Maps
The December boys - Misty, Sparks, Spit and Maps

What I thought of December Boys

This touching, heartwarming and somewhat bittersweet movie left me quite satisfied.  The boys all have their own difficult and painful lessons to learn about growing up.  The themes of disappointment, heartache, and rejection are relatable for most people, as is the pain often associated with growing up and learning that life isn't always easy or fair.  There's also a lot of emphasis on the bonds of close friendships, and the lesson that family doesn't always mean shared DNA, something that it takes many of us years to learn, but that this foursome learned at a young age. 

As pre-teens and teens, the boys have reconciled themselves to the fact that they might never be adopted, so they become a family unit of their own.  When the possibility of adoption arises, it's such an unexpected occurrence that the rivalry and competition between them ranges from comical to destructive.  They know that only one can be chosen, and they're aware that it would split them up, but that it would also give one of them a chance to live the life they've always dreamed of - a life with parents and a 'real' family.

Daniel Radcliffe as Maps in December Boys
Daniel Radcliffe as Maps in December Boys

What I thought of Daniel Radcliffe's performance

For my fellow Potter fans, and since it was Daniel's appearance in this movie that originally caught my interest, I thought I'd focus a bit on his performance in the movie. For starters, I don't think there's any worry of his career going stagnant after the huge success of Harry Potter. I never thought I'd want to see Daniel Radcliffe in a role other than Harry Potter because I thought that for me he'd always be Harry. Then I realized that because Daniel's so young and has such a promising career ahead of him, it wouldn't be fair to always see him in the one role, and it would be ridiculous to limit myself. I know other people who felt the same way, or thought that after the Potter movies, it would be impossible for Radcliffe to move past that, but I think December Boys - despite being filmed in 2007, when he was still working on Harry Potter - is a good role for Daniel to distance himself from the iconic role. I think that he had to play a completely different role, one that couldn't possibly be compared to Harry, otherwise he'd be typecasted the rest of his career. Maps is about as different from Harry as you can get - the only similarities are the fact that they're both orphans, and the traits that make them loyal, faithful and true friends.

All that being said, I do think Daniel has some work to do before he becomes a truly excellent actor. He has a lot of emotion in his voice and in his movements and actions, but not much expression in his face. It's like he knows what he's doing and he has the tools to do it, he's just not quite there yet. Despite that, at least to me, he still comes off convincing and believable. I don't really know how to explain it, but for me at least, I always found myself able to relate to him as Harry, and I found him very relatable in December Boys as well.

I would recommend this beautiful movie to anyone who enjoys coming-of-age stories, and movies that leave you thinking about the themes of love, friendship, and lost innocence.  If you're curious about Daniel Radcliffe, as I was, I'd just warn that this movie isn't for the young Potter fans - it's rated PG-13 for sexual content, nudity and underage smoking and drinking.

Thank you for reading

Thank you for reading Movie Review: December Boys. If you enjoyed this article and found it useful, please vote it up, rate it, and/or leave a comment - you don't have to be a member of HubPages to leave comments. If you'd like to learn more about me and read my other articles here at Hubpages, you can visit my profile page. I love writing for HubPages, and would recommend it to anyone who's interested in writing online. If you'd like to join (it's free to join and a great way to make money online), you can sign up here.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • SweetMarie83 profile image
      Author

      Marie Landry 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I didn't know he had done any either, so it was a real surprise to find this one - luckily it turned out to be a pleasant surprise! I love movies too, I hope you'll check this one out, it was really good!

    • Mimi721wis profile image

      Mimi721wis 7 years ago

      Sounds like a really good movie. I never knew Daniel Radcliffe done any movies other than Harry Potter. I love movies.

    • SweetMarie83 profile image
      Author

      Marie Landry 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you! Does that mean you've been forced to watch the Harry Potter movies dozens of times as well? lol

    • Cogerson profile image

      UltimateMovieRankings 7 years ago from Virginia

      Nice hub...my 16 year old daughter is in love with Mr. Radcliffe so I have seen bits and pieces of this movies about 15 to 20 times...which he does give a pretty good performance...my daughter thinks it is an awesome movie as well...so great review and voted up

    • SweetMarie83 profile image
      Author

      Marie Landry 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Glad I could be of use! When I first saw it, I wanted to say that I had heard of it, but I wasn't sure. It was a serendipitous find though, I never know what gems I'll find at the library, and I'm certainly glad I found this one.

    • Keith Worth profile image

      Keith Worth 7 years ago

      Added to Netflix, thanks for bringing this to our attention. Either I've never heard of it or I did and forgot about it but sounds interesting.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)