Boyhood has had a lot of talk for the whole production level dedication and even on the radio this morning, they were talking about how Boyhood is most likely to win Best Picture in Oscars. Obviously, I didn’t choose to watch it because of this because I watched it last night from a Google Play rental. I’m starting to really like putting those Google play credits to good use. Still, one more movie rented for the Oscars that’ll go up tomorrow some time, hopefully in the morning. I’m a little bummed out that I didn’t get as many as I can but since this was a last minute decision (in a way), I only can get in one movie a night and carry on with my personal life.
Either way, I’m rambling so lets check out Boyhood! 🙂
Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater
Mason and his older sister, Samantha is raised by her single mother. Their father has always been a free soul that never settled long enough to take care of them. Thats until, their mother decides to go back to Houston so that their grandmother can help take care of them while she goes back to school to get a college degree so that they could all have a better living. As he grows up, he learns through the many experiences his parents and his sister go through while trying to find who he is and who he wants to be.
I’m not exactly sure how to review this but let me take you a little on something I woke up with this morning and I thought would structure the perfect post. Not sure its so perfect now that its 5 hours after I’ve woken up but I’ll try to retain most of my thoughts. First, lets ask ourselves a question (or let me ask you this to reflect on): What is a movie and its purpose? Take a moment or two to think about that…
Okay, we’re good. Is it to live adventures through someone else like Indiana Jones or Marty? Or is it to sneak and unveil evil plans and put a stop to them like James Bond? Is it to watch someone cope with a common dilemma that you may have or haven’t experienced like Juno? Not great examples but my point is, we watch movies to experience excitement that we don’t usually experience or to just watch someone else’s life. In the case of Boyhood, we’re literally watching the 4 main characters grow. The focus is on Mason but we’ve grown up as well, or some of you younger bloggers are still growing up, we learn from the people around us, their experiences and thats why this 12 year project deserves a whole lot of respect from me because its a huge bet to put together a movie that just shows the entire growing up process of a boy who eventually tries to learn how to be a man. We, as the audience, are watching the life of someone grow up with a span of experiences that has to somewhere sometime make you connect with him. Plus, whether its Mason or Mom or Dad that you can relate to, their decisions make up who each of them become. You know why this is an ambitious project because its set assuming that for a change, we would like to watch life’s ordinary moments. Thats what makes it great for me. Maybe for some, this is long and boring. I don’t blame you, I thought that would be the case for me as well, but then, I wonder why, because I like lots of movies like these. A lot of times, watching a real person experience life and learning from it is about the most thoughtful and insightful movie experience there is.
All that ramble up there really just means how much I loved Boyhood. Whats great about is that it doesn’t need fancy effects or intense chase scenes or jump scares. I’m not sure whether changing actors and doing this in a smaller time frame would have the same effect but the thoughts and efforts shows a great deal of enthusiasm and belief in the project and it just boosts the movie up. Boyhood does have moments where we need to readjust to figure out that Mason’s grew up a little and things have changed because its a subtle transition and most of the time its done really well. However, what spanning over 12 years does is that it gives the characters a chance to live in actual events that happen. I’m not American but everyone knows about big American events, like presidential elections, plus adding in the whole Harry Potter thing was pretty cool as well. Aside from that, there’s the whole music influence where we experience it as the music changes as the years move along and man, is that soundtrack great!!
I guess, to keep this in line with a review, I should look at the performances a little. Mason Jr. is played by Ellar Coltrane. This guy hasn’t really been in anything but he does take the role very well. Seeing as he grew up with this movie, there is a really nice touch to seeing him grow up. But, his role bases on not only his growth but also the growth of his parents and their decisions. Both supporting roles, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke playing Mom and Dad respectively. I used to be a huge fan of Ethan Hawke and then he kind of vanished (or I just never saw his movies around?). I really like the contrast that Mom and Dad’s personality was here. Mom tries to be responsible and give a complete family for her kids but in the end, they are her priority, also being the reason for wanting to go back to school and making everything better but she only gets credited with her bad life decisions. Whereas, Dad never had a lot of expectations in the first place and he was the no bs guy. As a father, he needed to grow into that role and if anything, Dad’s growth was a lot more, making his role really insightful. Both Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke did an impressive and convincing job as Mason’s parents.
Overall, I love Boyhood a lot more than I had thought. Richard Linklater deserves a lot of credit for putting together a film that strings ordinary moments in the life of boy who we watch grow up. Its always powerful when a movie can touch its audience (if its their type of movie) that really emphasizes on that quote up there. The moments seize us sometimes and that life may not have a clear point to it but everyone’s winging it so its okay to step out there and embrace the good things we feel. With movies like this, sometimes I overthink so maybe I’m deciphering something that isn’t even the point. Thats when I ask you what Mason asks his dad, “So, what’s the point?” 😉
I haven’t seen much of the other nominations but honestly, I would love to see this one win Best Picture just because its such an ambitious project.
Have you seen Boyhood? Thoughts? Did you like it or maybe you found it boring?