Review: ‘THE BOAT BUILDER’ set to open The 30th Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival

The Boat Builder poster
Christopher Lloyd stars as Abner, an embittered old mariner and widower living a solitary life. Withdrawn from his family and the tight-knit community of his small marine town, he is a grumpy and unsociable man who seems to live in the past – only finding comfort in the countless hours spent building a sailboat in his yard. When neglected young orphan Rick (Tekola Cornetet) wanders onto Abner’s property hiding from local bullies, the two find common ground and form an unlikely bond which changes their lives in unexpected ways.

The Boat Builder marks Arnold Grossman’s directorial debut on a narrative feature. At the age of 80, Grossman embarked on a venture to make “a film about the building of a dream.” Starting his journey as an indie filmmaker later in life “is the culmination of lessons learned from my life experiences and a long career in various creative fields” said Grossman. A sailor since childhood, Grossman scouted several coastal locations before deciding to shoot in the San Francisco Bay Area.The Boat Builder-7Christopher Lloyd is still a legend on screen. He does not disappoint as this curmudgenly fellow who just wants to be left alone. His voice is so amazing, there are moments in the film where you could drift off to dreamland and be so happy. Each moment of him on screen in gold and you simpy cannothelp but fall in love with this character. Newcomer Tekola Cornetet, is truly refreshing in his line delivery. His innocence spills off the screen and there is something so endearing about him. He and Lloyd are like old buddies or relatives that share a bond almost instantly. The chemistry is effortless. These two are most definitely the highlights of the entire movie.The Boat Builder-5That being said, on the whole, the film has a Hallmark channel feel about it. Think “after school special” with messages thrown in about bullying and acceptance. It’s a family film at heart. There is a beautiful fluidity to the writing. The scenery is gorgeous. The music is a lovely addition with it’s light and tempered balance underscoring the dialogue. The Boat Builder lets Christopher Lloyd shine at every turn. It’s a wonderful introduction for Tekola Cornetet. It’s certainly nothing revelatory but The Boat Builder is a nice family friendly film you won’t mind taking the kids to.

The Boat Builder-6Lead Actor Christopher Lloyd to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award as Part of the Festival’s Opening Night Celebrations

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Ft. Lauderdale, FL  – The Boat Builder will celebrate its World Premiere on Friday, November 6, 8:00pm at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale as part of the Opening Night events for the 30th edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.
In a ceremony to precede the World Premiere screening, The Boat Builder lead actor Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Taxi) will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award celebrating his prolific career in film, television, and theater.
Written and directed by Arnold Grossman, a published novelist and nonfiction author, and produced by Richard J. Bosner (Fruitvale Station, The Wannabe), The Boat Builder tells the story of two people at opposite ends of life who find a bond in a shared dream.

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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