Katell Quillévéré's family-based drama follows Suzanne, a teenage mother who falls for a gangster
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faces and comic relief, they’re what’s pushing the kids away: Offerman plays ringleader Joe Toy’s (Nick Robinson) withdrawn, closed-off single father, while Mullally’s overbearing mother reminds her son Patrick (Gabriel Busso) of Street Fighter II’s burly green brawler Blanka.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.
BIFA-nominated films including the Film4-backed 45 Years, The Lobster, Macbeth, Amy and Ex Machina will be available in cinemas nationwide from 23 November in a special public screenings event. The
Film4 has received a total of 41 nominations for the films it has backed at this year¿s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), with the nomination lists for the Best British Film and Best Director a
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 "Have you ever heard of body modification?" At 11.10pm, the Saturday Night Shocks continue with American Mary. https://t.co/WpMvpPChsN
@Film4 Horror fans! If you missed our premiere of the @twisted_twins' American Mary, we're repeating it tonight at 11.10pm https://t.co/IBdMoFiddH
@Film4 At 9pm, Michael Shannon is a family man moonlighting as a notorious contract killer in violent thriller The Iceman. https://t.co/CXSzzMcHYV
@Film4 Coming up at 9pm, Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder & James Franco star in fact-based crime drama The Iceman. https://t.co/SMD7P2ppMb
@Film4 Derek Zoolander's best look is: