When you are younger the fear of growing up is a real thing. While there are those who can’t wait to make it to the uneventfulness that is adulthood, others are not ready to let go of their dreams quite yet. I was one of those kids, someone who lived in a world where fantasy was real. Of course I grew up though, but I don’t know if I ever fully have let go of that world. Maybe that is the reason for my youthful attitude, and while some say I just haven’t grown up, I would say I just haven’t let go.
Cory (Toby Wallace) is at the end of his school days, and is looking at what to do next. His love is photography and he uses that love to chronicle his skate life with his friends. Cory wasn’t always in this crowd, as his old friend Jonah (Gulliver McGrath) will tell you. There was a time Cory believed in a world that was full of magic, but that all changed on one faithful day. Cory now though is conflicted on what he wants to do next. He can stay with the wolves or he can pursue his dream. It takes an encounter with his old friend Jonah on Halloween night for him to remember the promises broken and the things he lost. When the night is over, Cory discovers he has lost more than he knew and it helps him vow to never break a promise again.
This film makes it feel like yesterday when I was dealing with that transiting from boy to man. Of course the fact that is takes place in 1997 probably rekindles that since it was not too far from my own time. What writer/director Nicholas Verson has done is take you back, and in my case way back. Verson transports you to before we all knew Y2K was a big joke, and when the music was good. The story blends the magic of childhood and the moment of accession to the next level so well that it might bring up almost forgotten memories of your own. The performances by both McGrath and Wallace are strong, as much of the film is relied on their abilities. It can be a tricky thing sometimes writing about a movie. For me I went into this cold, not knowing a thing, and came out knowing I had seen something special. As you read this you obviously know more than me, but it won’t lessen the pleasure. Every year at a film festival there are always pleasant surprises. For me “Boys in the Trees” was that surprise, and now I just want to share the experience with you.