I was drawn to watch this movie both because I like Clive Owen and because it is a BBC/Australian film from the producer of “Billy Elliott.”
Overall I liked that it was a movie focused on men and the dynamics among the male characters.
The Boys Are Back is a drama, describing the turmoil a recently widower faces as he tries to raise his six year old son and manage a demanding sports journalism career, and repair his relationship with his teenage son from his first marriage.
Yes, a lot of drama in that way but I like that the focus is on the father trying to make things work even if that means that his house is a mess. There is reference to how much order and beauty was around when his wife was alive and yet, he has to let go of how he thinks he should raise Artie and follow instead the young boy’s rhythm. It is not easy but he gets in the flow of tuning in to what this little fiery ball of energy requires.
I also liked the moment when his teenage son asked him why he did not take him along when he left his first marriage and moved to Australia. The dad responded that it never crossed his mind to take him away from his mother at such a young age (he was six at the time). It was a raw and honest response that I believe helped the teenage boy mend the issues of “father abandonment” he experienced growing up.
At the end, all three male characters come together to live and grow as family, and as unique individuals.