SXSW Film Review: The Goob

The freedom and horror of growing up

Somewhere lost in the heart of youth are moments of pure freedom spent wandering across fields and back alleys looking for adventure, restless for danger and love. Then you run head-on into reality.

For the title character in The Goob, the adventure is in the golden glow of rural Fenland, England, and reality is the cocky and downright cruel Gene, a stock-car racer his mother has let into their home.

Guy Myhill’s feature debut is a coming-of-age story familiar in a way that endears even in its predictability. The Goob must, of course, eventually stand up to his mother’s creepy lover. He must seek out a teenage love of his own – in this case with an immigrant pumpkin harvester. He must stretch his wings and become a man. The familiar is wrapped in a nostalgic glow here, and Liam Walpole gives the Goob just the right aching yet stoic intensity. But it’s Sean Harris’ Gene who steals the film with his perfect mix of strutting machismo and horn-dog cluelessness.

The Goob

Narrative Spotlight, North American Premiere
Thursday, March 19, 11:30am, Alamo Ritz

Keep up with all our SXSW Film coverage at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

Q&A With Comedian Tig Notaro
Q&A With Tig Notaro
Showtime documentary airs Friday

Andy Campbell, April 15, 2015

SXSW Film 2015 Rundown
SXSW Film Coverage
Reviews, interviews, photo galleries, and more

March 22, 2015

More by Joe O'Connell
Top Books to Read in 2020 As Everything Falls Apart
Top Books to Read in 2020 As Everything Falls Apart
In a COVID-strained year, tales of families repairing their lives and the caste system's effect of Black Americans made an impact

Dec. 18, 2020

Texas Book Festival 2019: Truth Worth Telling: A Conversation With Journalist Scott Pelley
Festival 2019: Truth Worth Telling With Scott Pelley
Newsman Scott Pelley had words of advice about media in the modern age

Oct. 28, 2019


SXSW Film, SXSW, The Goob, Guy Myhill, Liam Walpole, Sean Harris, SXSW Film 2015

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle