BOYHOOD (2014)

 

3-readingACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS

  • Best Picture – Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland
  • Best Supporting Actor – Ethan Hawke
  • Best Supporting Actress – Patricia Arquette
  • Best Director – Richard Linklater
  • Best Film Editing – Sandra Adair
  • Best Original Screenplay – Richard Linklater

Christopher

I have a lot of feelings toward this movie. I kind of expected it to be my absolute favorite from this Oscar batch. However, that didn’t really happen. The movie, minus all his own family drama, was just kind of watching my childhood. Which is something I’ve already lived? And don’t care to see again at this time?

I feel like the major problem I had about this film was the fact that it was far too relatable. Especially since moving to Texas. I really think this is a movie that would benefit from being watch later in my life. At this point in my life I remember my childhood far too much to see a three hour wrap up of it. The film focuses a lot on the passage of time and because of this I felt the story and dialogue felt like an afterthought.

However, this movie really does capture childhood. Especially being a boy but I do really like that you got to see Mason (Ellar Coltrane), the main character, and his sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) grow up as well. There is a pretty great scene where she wakes Mason up by singing a Britney Spears song. As she does this Mason tries to stop her while rolling around in his Dragon Ball Z (DBZ) bed sheets. Though this exact thing didn’t happen to me I cannot explain how much my room was full of DBZ paraphernalia while my sister was into Britney Spears. 

I think this movie is worth watching 100%. Although I’m not sure it’s the place to start with with Richard Linklater. I think his Before trilogy is much better and still does a great job with the passing of time.

Elizabeth

I had mixed feelings about Boyhood, and that surprised me. The way its getting talked about, I didn’t know what to expect but I did sort of expect it totally knock me off my feet, but it didn’t. Now, don’t get me wrong – I do not think Boyhood is bad, in pretty much any sense. But I don’t think Boyhood was the greatest film I’d ever seen, or the best movie of the century, or was even my favorite of this year’s Oscar movies. But the more I think about it, the more that makes sense and the more that might actually mean it’s even better than I realize.

So, here’s the thing. I think we all know the basic premise of Boyhood: Richard Linklater and his cast filmed it over 12 years to chronicle the life of a young boy up to starting college. Obviously a good amount of this movie deals with the passage of time and the focus, in a way, is on the fact that it was filmed the way it was. Now, I agree, the way Linklater filmed Boyhood and the fact that he was able to pull it off is amazing and really very beautiful. Boyhood deserves the recognition it’s getting for the way it was filmed. But in a certain way I think it hurt the story a little. We know we have to get through 12 years, and the movie is already long at 2 hours and 45 minutes, so I felt like some of the story and character development was lost a bit in order to keep the focus on the massive passage of time. By the end of the movie I wasn’t sure how much I really knew about Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as a character. Mason didn’t have any real, long-lasting conflicts to overcome, but given the structure of the movie I don’t think that hurt it much.

So it takes place from roughly 2002-2013. I started ninth grade in the fall of 2002, and Mason is supposed to be around 7 years old in 2002, so Chris and I have around 7 years on Mason and around 5 years on his older sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater). But despite that age difference, so much of Boyhood felt so true to growing up at the time that I did that it was borderline boring for me. Not just the pop culture, but the overall feel of it was so familiar it was almost like I had seen it before. Linklater sticks to something he also carried out throughout the Before series: nothing tragic happens. Mason doesn’t get sexually abused, no one in the family gets killed . . . there’s drama, sure, and Mason’s mother (Patricia Arquette) does get subjected to a couple of abusive husbands, but it’s just not one of those movies where something is going to come blindside you, which is something I really appreciate from Linklater. I think not constantly worrying about what was going to happen helped you enjoy each scene for what it was. But again, it was sort of boring for me. But I would be really curious to revisit Boyhood in maybe 10 or so, because even though it focuses on a young boy I feel like so much of this happened to me, and not that long ago. I could see it having a much more emotional impact on me after more time has passed.

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