Filmmaker Wohl crafts a profoundly moving profile of his cousin, Philly, a mentally handicapped 52-year-old man who is forced to confront the prospect of a more independent life as his parents reach advanced age and can no longer care for him. Will Philly be able to adjust to this big, new challenge? Just as important, how will his loving, equally dependent parents cope with this change? Finding out is a revelatory experience.
Truly a one-of-a-kind film, “Best Boy” draws you in from the start, but its emotional effects are cumulative. As the story plays out, we recognize that Philly's plucky spirit represents an example of courage that any person could only hope to follow. The documentary deservedly won 1979's Best Documentary Oscar, and was also cited by the New York Film Critics Circle. Don't miss this highly affecting piece — and watch in particular for the priceless moment when Philly meets actor Zero Mostel backstage.