We Bought a Zoo
A widowed father played by Matt Damon moves to the South Californian country and purchases a zoo with his family
On Film4: 6 Sep 6:25PM
Three teenagers seek freedom from their mundane suburban lives by fleeing their families, building a makeshift house in the woods and fending for themselves.
At first glance, The Kings Of Summer looks like your typical Sundance flick: a nostalgic portrait of suburban childhood, propped up by a host of television stars let off the hook in supporting roles. However, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and writer Chris Galletta’s long list of influences – which includes Millions, Son Of Rambow and Stand By Me – reveals greater ambitions.
Like those touchstones, The Kings Of Summer both captures the adventurous spirit of youth and treats its characters’ problems seriously, which is done with great heart in this story of troubled teens who run away from home and build a house in a secluded clearing in a local forest. Sure, there are delightful turns from the likes of Parks And Recreation’s Nick Offerman and Will & Grace’s Megan Mullally as the boys’ parents, but they serve as more than just familiar faces and comic relief, they’re what’s pushing the kids away: Offerman plays ringleader Joe Toy’s (Nick Robinson) withdrawn, closed-off single father, while Mullally’s overbearing mother reminds her son Patrick (Gabriel Busso) of Street Fighter II’s burly green brawler Blanka.
Playing at times like the best bits of JJ Abrams’ Super 8 (which also starred Busso), The Kings Of Summer sees its teenage characters clinging onto the unbridled innocence of youth, while yearning for the maturity and freedom of adulthood. By simultaneously representing both their unattainable ideal of a Jack London-type frontiersman existence and their desire for a place of their own, the house they build (Toy’s House, as the film’s original title calls it) is a melting pot of masculine themes – and The Kings Of Summer plays these out with both humour and warmth.
Rich in suburban subtext, The Kings Of Summer is a coming-of-age indie movie full of poignancy, charm and strong performances.
Room, High-Rise, The Lobster, Youth, 45 Years and Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream Alliance have been selected for this year¿s Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from Septem
Check out the exquisite poster for Anton Corbijn's Film4-backed drama Life, starring Robert Pattinson & Dane DeHaan... Inspired by the true story of a friendship that developed between photogra
A summary of the critics and film professionals who voted for the top 50 Horror films of the 21st Century
As voted for by a panel of horror experts and friends of Film4 & FrightFest
@Film4 @hidehidecans The Longest Day, Kiki's Delivery Service and Big Fish are all superb films, if you ask us. And they're all on today!
@Film4 THIS JUST IN: Out, damned trailer! Out, I say! Michael Fassbender is Macbeth: https://t.co/JPWk3WujYw http://t.co/fE7vgVoFXv
@Film4 RT @Film4Insider: #LFF's Dare Gala (in association with @TimeOutFilm) is Yorgos Lanthimos' unconventional love story The Lobster. http://t.…
@Film4 RT @Film4Insider: .@lennyabrahamson's Film4-backed Room, starring @brielarson, is screening in #LFF's Official Competition selection. http:…
@Film4 "The thing that's always worried me about being one of the few is the way we keep on getting fewer." At 11am, The Longest Day.