Verdict: 4 / 5
One would think it unusual that a story about two geeky kids getting cruelly pranked would be so beautiful. It is unusual and it is beautiful.
“Sometimes popular kids can be really cruel, they can bully you into thinking there is nothing special about you. They tried to do that to me at camp Tall Pine, I thank God for sending me someone who changed my life.”
Standing Up, also known as Goat Island, is a coming-of-age film based on Brock Cole’s 1987 novel The Goats, which is an acclaimed young adults novel and the winner of numerous awards including American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults and the Booklist Best Books of the 80’s. Director, D.J. Caruso, began adapting the novel in the year 2000 with Ken Aguado, who also produced the film. It follows the story of young Howie (Chandler Canterbury) who is left naked on Goat Island. As he finds himself left to fend for himself and outlast the night, he discovers he is not the only one. After convincing Grace (Analise Basso) to not wait around for the morning but escape across the river, the two set off on a journey to make their own way back to civilisation but never back to camp.
There is beautiful detail in this film that makes it both touching and artistic. A narrative of photos and a trail of IOU notes make this unusual story creep into your heart. The adventures of these two children, their raw emotion, vulnerability and deep love for eachother make this into a stellar story. With this being said there is not much more to say about the performances of Chanterbury and Basso other than they are remarkable. The supporting cast are full of really loveable characters including Val Kilmer who rocks up as a rough and crazy looking sherrif and a few unlikely friends they make on their three day adventure.
“Tough times never last, tough people do.”