Hunt For The Widerpeople

 

We know it is very “in” to automatically like foreign films because it makes us sound very cultured and erudite.  But we can’t help ourselves with this small New Zealand gem. It’s just too good to not fall into the stereotype of foreign-film-fandom.

This delightful movie is a perfect antidote to “blockbuster” films.  It features only one well known actor, Sam Neil (Jurassic Park) and he is almost unrecognizable behind Grizzly Adams facial hair. However, there is so much talent in the rest of the cast that you will marvel at how they aren’t already getting more “buzz.”

The plot revolves around a national manhunt for a rebellious 12-year old Ricky (Julian Dennison) and his gruff foster father (Neil) as they dodge the authorities who want to return Ricky to foster care following the passing of Neil’s wife and Ricky’s foster mother (Rema Te Wiata). The set-up scenes where we get to know the pre-pubescent, gangster-culture obsessed Ricky and the initially stand-off relationship with his foster father are just so engaging and moving that you will laugh and be touched at the same time.

Hunt For The Wilderpeople is a terrific date movie, by-yourself-movie, rainy day movie, sunny day movie.  It absolutely merits you digging around to find the theater where it is playing and go see it.  New Zealand never looked or sounded so good!

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