Christopher Neil

Editor’s note: Goats lands in limited this week, determined to gnaw on theater chairs, popcorn buckets, and actual moviegoers, so give our Sundance review a read before heading into that situation. This review was originally published on January 27, 2012. Ellis (Graham Phillips) has grown up in a less-than-average household. Ellis lives in Tuscon, Arizona with his mother Wendy (Vera Farmiga), a free spirit who relies on Ellis to make sure their bills are paid on time while she seems to still be “finding herself.” Add to this Goat Man (David Duchovny), who tends to their pool and garden (as well as his own “garden”) and lives on the property with, you guessed it, his goats. Despite this rather unusual upbringing, Ellis seems more than well-adjusted and the film focuses on his recent decision to attend an East Coast prep school, Gates Academy, which his father Frank (Ty Burrell) also attended. Considering Wendy refers to Frank as “Fucker Frank,” it is clear this decision is not one she is happy about.

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Goats Movie 2012

Goats, the directorial debut of acting coach Christopher Neil, looks crunchy. Vera Farmiga plays a New Age mom concerned more about appearing mainstream than how her son might be faring, and David Duchovny plays a bearded free spirit who hangs out with goats all the time. He once saw one born inside out. True story. However, the film really focuses on Ellis (Graham Phillips), who has to deal with a hippie mother, a spirit animal of a father figure and a real father (played by Ty Burell) who hasn’t been in the picture until Ellis heads off to a boarding school. It looks more lighthearted than leaden drama, and hopefully Farmiga’s character is as big a cartoon as this trailer makes her out to be. Even if it ends up being cheesy, Duchovny and his inability to use stamps seems to be reason enough to give it a look. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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