“Goats” is a coming of age story set against the backdrop of some very unique family dynamics. Fifteen-year-old Ellis (Graham Phillips) lives on a desert homestead in Tucson with his flakey New Age hippie mother (Vera Farmiga) and the Goat Man (David Duchovny), a marijuana-growing, goat-herding sage who has lived in their pool house since Ellis was a child. When Ellis decides to leave Tucson to attend the same East Coast prep school that his father, Frank (Ty Burrell) attended, major changes are in store.
The extremely bright Ellis proves to be an exceptional student and excellent track athlete. When his long-estranged father invites him to Washington, DC for Thanksgiving, Ellis reluctantly accepts. Once there Ellis is surprised to meet his father’s pregnant new wife Judy (Keri Russell), with this fact adding to the awkwardness as they all try to connect or reconnect. Then, after returning to school, Ellis attracts the attention of a local girl, Minnie (Dakota Johnson), and the two begin a tentative relationship.
Throughout it all Ellis has an opportunity to reflect on the lessons that he learned from Goat Man, the only father figure he had really known. Through their treks and talks, Goat Man had taught Ellis the meaning of stability, commitment and expanding one’s mind. As the year progresses, Ellis is tested by his relationships with the adults in his life, challenging his beliefs about responsibility and trustworthiness.
“Goats” was directed by Christopher Neil and written by Mark Jude Poirier based on his novel of the same name. The comedy had a limited release on August 10, 2012 by Image Entertainment.