This is the kind of indie comedy that you definitely don’t see every week (at the local multiplex), b/c that would be TOO delightful! (FYI: I saw it 2 mos. back at Landmark E St. Cinemas.) This story is NOT cloying or sugary, like SO MANY films centered on children, thanks to it’s tongue-in-cheek directorial style by Taika Waititi. The director (who also has a cameo as a minister) is an up-and- comer from New Zealand (with a white mother and a Maori father). His next project will be one of the Thor films (ugh, I guess that means success).
In this film, 12 y.o. juvenile delinquent, Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), gets a cheery/sweet foster mom, Bella (Rima Te Waita) and cranky/reluctant father figure, Hec (Australian veteran actor Sam Neill).
This is Ricky’s LAST chance, as his “nemesis” Paula (Rachel House) from Child Services warns him, supported by bumbling cop, Andy (Oscar Kighty). These two characters provide GREAT laughs later in the films- just wait for it!
After a tragic turn of events, Ricky runs away to the forest, and Hec goes after him. It turns out that Ricky, a self-proclaimed overweight book lover, has a natural affinity for the outdoors. He wants to learn more and more, much to the shock and surprise of the hermit-like Hec (who refuses to be called “Uncle”).