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Film Review – Jamesy Boy

Director: Trevor White
Screenplay: Lane Shadgett
Cast: Spenser Lofranco, Mary-Louise Parker, Taissa Farmiga and James Woods
Genre: Crime Drama
Rating:***

Jamesy Boy tells the true story of James Burns, a young gang member in prison, convicted for selling guns and possession of drugs.
However, he turns his life around in prison, thanks to the friendship he forges with a convicted murderer who becomes his mentor. James Burns (Spenser Lofranco) always has been a troubled teen, being in and out of juvenile detention for most of his life, and no one expects him to make a success of his life – except for his mother Tracy (Mary-Louise Parker), who tries very hard for her son to get back into a normal school again. But because of his record, no school will accept him, and he goes back to a life of criminal activities with his friends.

Eventually this destructive behaviour lands him in prison, where he makes more trouble by starting t lot of fights. But eventually he meets another prisoner, Conrad (Ving Rhames), an older person in prison for murder, and he learns a lot from him on how to become a better person and how to respect himself and others. Conrad is in prison for life, teaching and showing James through books he reads that there is so much more to life than the life they have chosen could offer them. It might be too late for Conrad, but James still has a chance, and a lot of potential. Even though the acting in this film is average and not anything to get excited about, the plot of the film makes up for this. This is an incredibly inspiring and motivating film. It highlights the fact that no matter how down or out you are or think you are, there is always a solution. It also shows that even if you are in the wrong place with so-called bad people, there will be someone who can help and motivate you to turn you life around for the better. I have always thought that even though love is not quintessential, kindness and love are of essence. This film emphasises that even though it is not always helpful to use “tough love”, there is a time and place for it. At the end of the movie, the closing text tells us that James Burns currently lives in New York City and that he studied writing and poetry at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in the hope to continue his higher education one day, defying the statistics of institutionalised and troubled youth. Every day this is wonderful, because we need more films like this coming out of Hollywood to inspire other young people who may be in the same predicament, making them realise that they can get out of their quandary to make a better life for themselves.

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