‘The Stupid Boy’ Is No Dummy After Screening at NBFF

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Phil Dunn’s ‘The Stupid Boy‘ is no dummy after a successful screening during the Wednesday’s shorts program at Newport Beach Film Festival.


Inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s ‘The Idiot‘, Phil Dunn’s ‘The Stupid Boy‘ is no dummy after a successful screening during the Wednesday’s shorts program at Newport Beach Film Festival.

Phil Dunn’s ‘The Stupid Boy‘ follows the story of adolescent Michael (Joshua Griffin), a high functioning autistic, mixed race, student who sees the beauty in life in a world where paranoia reigns supreme.

Michael’s father, Aido (Derek Elroy) has all the patience in the world for his son, while his mother Polly (Elly Piercy) wishes he would be more cynical about his surroundings.

Even in the midst of being bullied, Michael still sees the good in his tormenters, who break his home made camera, of which instead of getting angry, takes on the challenge of building a better version.

Polly feels all hope is lost and in dealing with the rise of White Nationalism in England, who follow a bastardized form of Christianity to justify their behavior, Aido reminds Michael that his grandmother used to say that, “God is love,” which the young man takes to heart.

All the foreshadowing lead me down a road that I did not expect and when the big reveal came, I was left breathless.

Dunn was able to find hope in a world of hopelessness and showed a sense of spiritual and brotherly love lost in the 21st century as we have succumb to nihilism, information overload, divisiveness and disinformation on all fronts. Dunn shows the beauty in simplicity and calmness that one person can bring to the world.

The Stupid Boy‘ is not a pejorative to the main character’s mental functions, but rather all of society and the antagonist himself. The discomfort from the title and through the opening sequence quickly subsides when you realize that it is not Michael who is the problem, but society as a whole.

Hopefully, Dunn will be able to turn this short into a full length feature at some point as we need more light in the darkness of the modern click bait society.

Follow ‘The Stupid Boy‘ on Instagram @thestupidboyfilm for future festivals and screenings.

  • Overall Score


The only problem with, ‘The Stupid Boy‘ is that it is 75 minutes too short. Phil Dunn needs to turn this into a full length, 90 minute feature.

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