The Way, Way Back

Directors: Nat FaxonJim Rash, Main Cast: Liam JamesSam RockwellSteve CarellToni ColletteAllison Janney

14-year-old Duncan (James) goes on vacation with his mother Pam (Collette), her boyfriend Trent (Carell) and his daughter. They are staying in Trent’s summer house in a small town on the coast of New England, in a well-to-do neighbourhood. Duncan is rather introverted with low self-esteem and matters are made worse by Trent’s overbearing and unkind attitude. His mother is not particularly helpful, being submissive and too involved in a “spring break for adults” with Trent and his friends. Duncan finds some solace in his lonely bike rides, during which he meets and befriends Owen (Rockwell), the manager of the local water park, who is an easy-going guy with a great sense of humor and a kind streak. Owen gives Duncan a job at the park and helps him to come out of his shell and build his self-confidence. This film might seem a rather typical coming-of-age story but the balance between drama and humor is so well calibrated, the cast, starting with young James, is just brilliant that is much more than that. Faxon and Rash are great at both writing and directing, I’m curious to see what they will come up with next. A nice surprise and heartwarming treat. —8.5/10

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