Secondhand Lions

I love coming-of-age films, but this isn’t one of them. I love odd-couple films, but this isn’t one of those either. I love comedies, but this isn’t one of those either. In fact, this movie is just about as difficult a movie to categorize as any I’ve seen. One common thread is true though, I really enjoyed this film.

The story, as told in retrospect, is that of a boy who was thrust upon his unsavory great-uncles by his neglectful mother. The great uncles are masterfully played by Michael Caine and Robert Duvall. I even tried to nit-pik some kind of hatred for Haley Joel Osment, but I couldn’t find a single one. Every part of his character oozed with a pathetic desire for a better life than what he had known.

With a stunning directorial debut, Tim McCanlies makes his screenplay pulse and strike with a surprising thirst for life. It begs you into these character’s lives, and into their hearts. Even though that I knew that the Great Uncles where already dead by the way the story opened, I was surprised to find myself tearful at the end of the movie.

Even if this wasn’t such an amazingly poor movie year, this movie would still be on strong stride for picture of the year, best actor, and best director.

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