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Saturday, 10 February 2001

Mall Boy

Fifteen year-old Shaun (Kane McNay) spends his life hanging out at the local shopping mall with his mates, dodging his social worker, and spending as little time as possible at home. Fair enough too - his two sisters spend their time swearing, mostly at each other, while inbetween drinks and swearing at her daughters his mother (Nell Feeny) tries to do her best but has no idea what that is. At least his dad (Brett Swain) is out of prison, but the welcome home party turns into a punch-up when dad brings his girlfriend around, and he doesn't seem that interested in having Shaun around anyway. Often blackly funny (if laughing at bogans is your thing, this is the must-see movie of '01) but also surprisingly powerful in its' depiction of aimless youth, Mall Boy manages to avoid the social drama cliches we've come to expect to instead deliver a spot-on look at a depressingly pointless way of life. Musician turned writer / director Vincent Giarrusso (from The Underground Lovers) has definitely made himself a name to watch in film with this one.

Anthony Morris (this review appeared in Forte)