Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Goats Movie Review

Goats Shockya Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello Director: Christopher Neil Starring: Vera Farmiga (‘Up in the Air,’ ‘Safe House’), David Duchovny, Graham Phillips (TV’s ‘The Good Wife,’ ‘Evan Almighty’), Ty Burrell (TV’s ‘Modern Family,’ ‘Dawn of the Dead (2004)’) Keri Russell and Justin Kirk (TV’s ‘Weeds,’ ‘Modern Family’) Comedy-of-age stories have often times come off as preachy and don’t always accurately portray the experiences teenagers must contend with throughout high school. While the new independent comedy ‘Goats’ does include several elements that many teens won’t be able to relate to, such as having to take care of an absent-minded hippie mother or having a drug-growing pool taker, there are many relationships and feelings that they will be able to understand. Based on the novel of the same name by Mark Poirier, ‘Goats’ offers an intriguing look into the motivations of adolescents who feel emotionally neglected. ‘Goats’ follows 15-year-old Ellis (played by Graham Phillips), the most mature member of his eccentric family. His mother, Wendy (portrayed by Vera Farmiga), is a New Age hippie who neglects to take care of their house or commit to her parental responsibilities. Instead, she spends all of her time working on self-help rituals with her hustler boyfriend Bennet (portrayed by Justin Kirk). She also employs Goat Man (played by David Duchovny), the goat-herding sage who has lived with the family in their pool house since Ellis was a child. Despite growing and smoking marijuana, Goat Man teaches Ellis the meaning of stability and commitment. Due to Wendy’s quirkiness, Ellis’ father, Franky (portrayed by Ty Burrell), left their Tucson house years before. He starts a new life in Washington, D.C. with his second wife, Judy (played by Keri Russell), with whom he’s having a baby. To feel closer to Frank, Ellis decides to leave Arizona and enroll in the same East Coast prep school that his father attended. As Ellis reconnects with his estranged father, he realizes his life with his mother and Goat Man starkly contrast normal family life. Christopher Neil, who made his feature film directorial debut with ‘Goats,’ made the right decision in hiring Phillips to portray the responsible main character in the coming-of-age independent comedy. Ellis is initially shown as just knowing how to take care of himself and everyone around him, due to his mother’s eccentric lifestyle. However, as the film continues, Phillips perfectly portrayed Ellis as wanting to act out in order to receive attention from the adults around him. While away at school, he learns how to turn his parents and their differing lifestyles against each other, in order to get what he wants. To continue reading this review, please visit

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