Remember that time in your life when you knew everything, had experienced nothing, and somehow your observations of the world were the most telling and accurate of anyone around you? This mystical teenage turning point is where the very realistic "Goats" lives and dies.
Based on the novel by Mark Jude Poirier, "Goats" is director Christopher Neil’s first attempt at directing a feature film. Perhaps there is some very clever symmetry at hand in this, Neil’s freshman effort, as main character "Ellis" is going away for his freshman semester at prep school. Ellis (Grahm Phillips) lives with his self-absorbed mother (Vera Famiga) and weed dealer/father figure "Goat Man" (David Duchovny) in Arizona where he spends most of his time studying the people around him. Like any quiet teenager dealing with the inner turmoil of adolescence, Ellis sees people for what they really are, a trait Neil is able to capture perfectly in the frame.
Ellis seems to be the only adult at just fifteen years in a film full of adults due to his keen understanding of human emotion and sense of priorities. This naïve lens Ellis sees the world through is mirrored in the filmmaker’s own. This makes for a cute sort of film that judges all kinds of people dealing with real issues that one day our carefree protagonist might actually have to face himself.
The special features are semi-interesting, but for a director’s first film, they leave a lot to be desired. The film itself is beautiful, ripe with images of Arizona and what looks like New England in stunning Blu-ray hi def quality.
A valiant first effort at directing, "Goats" is worth watching, and if you love Duchovny’s abs then it might even be worth buying.
the bills. If he’s not at work or at home writing, he’s out surfing
in the California sun.