Everybody Wants Some!! ★★★★★

Another year, another Linklater masterpiece. EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! seems to me like a mixtape of all of his thematic and aesthetic concerns to date. A riotous delve into a specific time and place that makes you experience memories you’ve never had, but through a strange alchemy, makes you feel like you lived through them anyway. And by doing this, you develop a specific type of ownership with it. As with most Linklater films, the look of the picture captures the era with meticulously placed, authentic detail that seems effortless. In this case, you are transported into 1980 college life with all the freedoms that being an adult entails. The possibilities are endless, you can be anything, do anything, and embrace what makes you an individual. When we first start the picture, the cast of characters we meet seem like one type of person, only to discover with the passage of time, that they are revealed to be something more than we envisioned. Yes, the film is plotless, but that’s what makes every arc we see unfold to have undiluted meaning. We don’t need manufactured drama to makes us care. Specific moments stand alone from the fabric of plot and are the things we truly remember. This is what elevates Linklater amongst his peers. That and his genius use of music. The soundtrack to this is a melting pot of different genres, each lending a different atmosphere to each scene. Disco, punk, rap, rock and others comfortably live side by side, begging you not to choose one, but to go with the flow and experiment. Another aspect that elevates the Linklater picture is his knack for finding young talent that will one day become stars. Blake Jenner, Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell, Wyatt Russell, Tyler Hoechlin and a slew of others have bright futures ahead of them. They inhabit their character like second skins to where I never doubted for a second that these were real people, quirks and all. Did I mention that this was about a group of baseball players chasing tail? That may seem like a limited view, but it never stops the picture from gaining a universal resonance. They may be a rowdy group that thrives on competition, but this is just one element that allows Linklater to retrofit the cliches of masculinity with hidden vulnerabilities. The surface can only distort your perception of what matters in this world. The complexity of this idea makes it very easy to fumble, yet through the careful dolling out of information at the least expected events, Linklater gets us to let our guard down and feel empathy for even the most seemingly insufferable character. That’s what makes his pictures human, and ultimately, timeless. For what drives our passions in life is the power of venturing into the unknown and sharing everything we have to offer. Even if it seems painful at first, it will always be worth it.

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