Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
A confession. I’ve never seen Hunt for the Wilderpeople. This feels like a glaring failure on my behalf and it’s proved to be the case... it’s wonderful! Ricky is a young, bored, orphan boy, who finds himself thrust out of the city’s welfare system and into the rural home of Bella & Hector. Things don’t go quite according to plan though and Ricky finds himself out in the bush with Hector, as both insular characters begin to find out things about themselves and one another. It’s darkly funny, but tongue and cheek comical too. Sam Neil is brilliant as Hector, himself an outcast, not comfortable with society and certainly not at ease with 13 year old hip hop loving Ricky. Julian Dennison as Ricky though is a revelation, a bundle of joy perfectly complementing Neil’s weather beaten world view. A series of both heartbreaking and innocent incidents sees them on the run from the ridiculously farcical welfare authorities, resulting in a mix of tenderness and satirical hilarity, wrapped up in an 80s style buddy picture, complete with delightful synth heavy score. As if all that weren’t enough, Rhys Derby’s cameo is nothing short of perfection... or should that be ‘Majestical’.