Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
12 years in the making.
The film tells a story of a divorced couple trying to raise their young son. The story follows the boy for twelve years, from first grade at age 6 through 12th grade at age 17-18, and examines his relationship with his parents as he grows.
I don’t say this lightly but Boyhood is one of the best films I’ve ever seen. Yet it is not a film filled with great revelatory moments or dazzling technical brilliance. It is distinctly ordinary in almost every department, but this is ultimately what makes it such a special experience that will resonate with any audience whether closer in age to the film’s chief protagonist or the adults struggling with parenthood: It is a film about life.
However, it is not simply a film about a life but rather about every life that orbits Mason, an average Texan boy from the age of six to eighteen. It is a true coming-of-age drama whether focused on the growing pains of a…
It is not surprising that so many people identify closely with Boyhood. It hits all the hallmarks of growing up. There is the promise made years ago that the parent forgot but the child did not. There is the incessant fighting between siblings that is forgotten two minutes later, as well as the faking of who is to blame for the fight when the shouts of "MOM!" have been acknowledged. There is the change in address, school and friends, for which parents are always blamed and children's protests are always ignored. There is the period where children discover that they can exert some control by dressing how they like or coming in late, anything that can be taken as a…
“I just thought there would be more.”
“Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to was never there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it.” So says an anti-religious crusader in Flannery O’Connor’s savage farce Wise Blood. But O’Connor, master of the tragicomic Southern Gothic, might as well have been writing of childhood, or of life itself. The past quickly recedes and fragments into shards of scattered memories; the future is murky and rarely leads where we want or expect; and the present is like static, clinging viciously as we run from it and never seeming as good in the moment as it will in hindsight.
What's It About?: Growing up.
Who's In it?: Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, and Lorelei Linklater.
The Good: The kids. The cast. The characters. The direction. The idea. The writing. The music. The 35mm. The laughs. The pathos. The holy-shit-that's-my-life moments. Everything.
The Bad: It's a 3-hour film, but I wish it went on forever.
What Did I Learn?: I learned to feel again. I was inspired again. This seals it—Richard Linklater and Ethan Hawke are now my favorite director-actor duo. Thank you for making this wonderful film. (Also, I never imagined I'd love anything with freaking Soulja Boy in it, but damn,…
After finishing Boyhood and slowly gathering my thoughts on it I did what I usually do, fly over to Letterboxd to jot those thoughts down before they escape me. What I wasn't prepared for was what happened when I saw that poster. It was a slap in the face, a jarring reminder that I had just spent twelve years with someone.
I think it's easy to not look beyond this film's ambitious conception and even write it off as a non-eventful gimmick. There is no real plot, there are no grand character arcs, no dramatic tension. It lacks a narrative flow and has more scope than focus, it ambles on throughout its running time, meandering along the trivial and occasionally…
Richard Linklater's bold, brave, daring, experimental, and unconventional filmmaking that tells the story of Mason, and his journey from a boy to a man. FUCK YOU, COLDPLAY! Rock collections are boss. The way Mason watches TV. Oops moment. Tit point. The awesomeness of people actually writing real letters with ink pens. I think I would rather listen to Nickelback on infinite repeat than listen to one Sheryl Crow song. Game Boy pimpness. The fun zero responsibility no child support paying Daddy. Aaliyah without Timbaland, Jet Li, or R. Kelly. Gutter balls. If I had to pay money into a swear jar for every obscenity in my reviews, I would be one broke motherfucker. Ethan Hawke's political ranting. Professor Horny. Mason,…
A really wonderful film.
Boyhood is a cinematic experience unlike any other. It’s a film that’s not only significant in the way it was created, but also the overall effect of seeing the characters age onscreen, of seeing trends and pop culture come and go and reliving those moments as if you were part of the film yourself. Boyhood is a film so real and so relevant to one’s own life; a film that not only serves to tell a story but also serves as a mirror where you relive your life with the characters. A film about coming-of-age, identity, family, and love among so many other themes. I can say without a doubt that Boyhood is one of the best films of all time.
Already in my top 10, this movie is so close to me for so many reasons. It is so incredible. I can't get over it.
To sum up the word vomit I wrote below, I would professionally give the movie a 5/5 because it succeeded in accomplishing its goal of showing an average, American boyhood. However, I'm not professional so I'm incorporating my personal opinions of the movie so I give it a 4.0 because it wasn't... entertaining. As an average young adult (teen), I thrive on entertainment.
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This movie is so uneventful but, hey, that's life... and it's depressing.
It's so uneventful that it makes me want to do something with my life. (I haven't done anything since watching it but it still makes me want to do something.)
It was so uneventful that it makes me sad…
Twice I've seen this film now, and I am still haunted by the brilliance and truths about life that it presents through its characters. I've talked to a few people about it, and it seems that one either loves it greatly or completely hated it, and I see valid points on both sides. Let's be honest for a minute: the only reason this movie is getting such recognition is because it was filmed for 12 years. That's it. Great performances were given all around by the cast, but honestly, Mason isn't a phenomenal character and he isn't some big hero who saves the day. He's just a normal guy. And in my opinion, that's what makes he such a relatable…
Boyhood is an an outstanding achievement in film making thanks to Richard Linklater with incredible performances, it's realistic tone and fantastic direction and writing from Richard Linklater. There is no other film like this.
By now, Linklater's project is world renowned. A 12-year shooting schedule, the end result of which is several short films composing one big script. Additionally, Linklater has been praised for establishing "beauty in everyday life". That is to say, the film's not really about anything. Would it matter if the participants were played by different actors aged appropriately? Would it matter if the scenes were shot with differently aged characters? Probably not, but nonetheless, it was filmed how it was filmed.
You can probably tell already, that I was unimpressed with this 12-year method. It's fine, but I don't see it as adding any element to the story. The story that's not a story. In fact, the only interconnecting element…
A rare and spectacular artistic achievement. A monument to craft and construction, vision, inspiration, and improvisation. Director Richard Linklater took incredible artistic risks, not the least of which is working with a number of actors over the course of 12 years. What if little boy hit puberty and decided he hated acting? What if any of them died? What if...?
The story in Boyhood is notable for focusing on real life, and in doing so, being a bit dull. It's about a boy growing up. No heart-pounding action sequences. No torrid love scenes. Just a boy growing up, and the joy and heartbreak that surrounds his boyhood. In the end, the story itself is subtle. But just as the Pompidou Center is an artistic achievement because of it's unique construction, so too is Boyhood.
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!