Sunday, August 24, 2014

Now in Theaters: Boyhood

Title: Boyhood
Director: Richard Linklater
My Overall Rating: 5 stars out of 5
via Wikipedia
Boyhood is an extremely ambitious film.  Richard Linklater filmed the same cast intermittently over a twelve-year period, following a family as the kids grow up, primarily Mason Evans, Jr. (performed by Ellar Coltrane).  Mason is six years old at the tale's beginning and it ends with his first day at college.  Mom (Patricia Arquette) and Dad (Ethan Hawke) have split and Mason and his older sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater, the director's daughter) live with their mother.  The family lives through remarriages (good for Dad, disastrous for Mom), moves, school bullies, new careers and teenage romance.


It's the sort of movie that stays with you. My Wife and I went to see it on Saturday afternoon and I've been thinking about it ever since.  Unfortunately, it also means I've had Coldplay's "Yellow" going through my head but even that hasn't ruined the film for me.  It's excellent and there are so many reasons why.  The actors are all wonderful, especially Arquette.  The children are entirely believable.  The time passage is never marked - "Four Years Later" and such.  Suddenly the kids are older and the story moves on.  There are so many paths the movie could have followed more deeply: alcoholic stepfathers, teen drug use, etc.  But that's not really the point.  Mason's life, his boyhood, is made up of smatterings of all those things.  Not all is bad, either.  Dad gets his life together.  Both kids find good friends.  Both go to college.  The story encapsulates a 360-degree view of childhood, neither sugar-coated nor the opposite.

I hope this movie will be remembered come Oscar time.  Filming the story over such a long period surely involved risk but it's no mere gimmick.  There's not a whiff of pretense.  Arquette, in particular, definitely deserves a nomination.

22 comments:

  1. I read about this a while back (or heard about it? maybe on NPR), and it sounds interesting. I'm not sure I'll make it to the theater to see it, but I will certainly rent it.

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    1. We first heard about it from the director's Daily Show interview. Such a good movie. I hope you will watch it sometime.

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  2. My son has been talking about this one, too - I think it should be a great flick, and I appreciate your take on it. Sounds like I need to see this one stat.

    And the nomination goes to....SQUID.

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    1. It was an honor just being nominated.

      Yes, you definitely need to see it. If you do, please let me know what you think.

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  3. What a wonderful idea for a film and an ambitious effort. I second the nomination of Squid!

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    1. I'd love to know what you think of the movie if you ever get the chance to see it.

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  4. Looks really interesting. I would love to see this. Thanks for sharing the trailer.

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  5. I need to see this, and the Before... movies.

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    1. I haven't seen those either and now I'm curious. The Linklater-Hawke relationship has clearly been a fruitful one.

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  6. I would love to watch this, thanks for sharing the trailer.

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  7. I love movies that stay with me. I'd love to see this.

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    1. If you do, please let me know what you think.

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  8. I've heard about this movie and have seen a few news stories about it. I'm definitely interested in seeing, but don't like to watch movies alone. My hubyy will watch it with me on dvd or streaming, but he's not going to the theatre for this. I love your take on it.

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    1. I was glad to have seen it on the big screen - a few stunning wide shots of Texas landscape - but enjoyment is not dependent upon it. I hope you will watch it some time.

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  9. What an amazing approach to a movie. I can't go to a theater, but I'll save it in my Netflix queue.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Excellent! Please let me know what you think when it comes around.

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  10. I hope it comes to my town. I'd love to see this. Thanks for posting the clip and boy, what a commitment to make...

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    1. My pleasure. I hope you get a chance to see it, Lisa.

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  11. I definitely want to see this movie. I had no idea it was filmed over so many years. Wow! That was risky- but it sounds like it really paid off. Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Definitely risky. Though I suppose if, heaven forbid, something had happened to one of the actors, the story could have been changed to accommodate.

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