In the 1980’s, Oliver Tate (by Craig Roberts) is a teenager in Wales and the only child of academic and depressive Lloyd (by Noah Taylor) and bored housewife Jill (by Sally Hawkins). In his town, there isn’t a lot to do and Oliver spends much of his day observing those around him. He monitors his parents’ every move and fantasises about girls at school. One day, his secret crush Jordana (by Yasmin Paige) suddenly takes an interest in him and they start a courtship. Oliver is determined to be “the best boyfriend in the world” and tries to learn as much as possible about how to do this, then applies it when he sees Jordana. At the same time, his parents’ marriage has hit a rough patch and, through his surveillance, he realises his mother’s head has been turned by another man. In his well meaning way, he tries his hardest to help his parents reconcile, as well as be the boyfriend Jordana deserves him to be. But things don’t quite work out as he expects and there are challenges to face ….
This is a nice, but slow moving, movie. We watch the drama from Oliver’s perspective and this is well done – Noah Taylor and Sally Hawkins are marvellous as the grey, average and set-in-their-ways Lloyd and Jill Tate. Sally Hawkins always gives a strong, authentic performance. Craig Roberts does very well as Oliver and Yasmin Paige puts in a strong performance as Jordana. All in all, this movie is well done, the music supports the story well, the comedy is appropriate and the special effects are used effectively – the audience is often taken inside Oliver’s thoughts and this is nicely achieved.
Made in 2010. Directed by Richard Ayoade