Last Monday my husband and I went to see “Boyhood”.
It was a movie that I wanted to make sure that I saw in the theatre. The main reason I wanted to see it in the theatre is because the movie is nearly three hours long. I knew that if I didn’t see it in the theatre the odds of me being willing to sit down for three hours at home to watch a movie were not very good. I felt like it was the kind of movie that would be an experience and that to enjoy the full experience you need to watch the movie in a dark theatre in one sitting. If I did watch it at home it would probably be in twenty to thirty minute chunks and I just didn’t think that I would get the same experience out of the movie.
I am so glad that I saw it in the theatre; it absolutely was an experience that can only fully be enjoyed in a dark theatre separated from the rest of the world. I really loved the movie and it is absolutely worth three hours of your life. A testament to how much I enjoyed the movie is the fact that I never got up to go to the restroom, I didn’t want to miss a single minute.
The concept of filming a movie over the course of twelve years with the same actors can either be seen as brilliantly original or gimmicky. I think it was it was brilliantly original. It’s like a documentary but with a narrative film formatting. It’s a great concept with great execution. I think it’s great that instead of casting four different actors to play the roles of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) and be distracted every few sequences by the sudden change in casting it’s an amazing journey to watch the slow changes as the children grow up.
It’s also very intriguing to watch Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke play the roles of the mom and dad and wage them slowly age into middle age. If you think about it it’s a much more natural way that slapping a wig and/or old age makeup on somebody to make them appear younger or older. It just obviously takes a lot longer to make a movie this way.
The performances by the actors are all great. Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater are truly amazing to watch. Director Richard Linklater really rolled the dice on these two. The movie could have easily gone off the rails by casting the wrong actors in these roles. But since the script wasn’t written at the start of the twelve years it gave the film a chance to grow and change with the actors to create a more authentic big screen experience. These two always seem very comfortable in their performances and I think that’s a testament to the director.
Patricia Arquette is given one of the best roles of her career here. There are a times when she is kind of just playing the mom role (the movie is called “Boyhood” and not “Motherhood” after all) but there are also times when she gets to act her ass off. Her last scene of the movie screams Oscar clip and I hope that the Academy remembers that scene when they are looking for Best Supporting Actress nominees early next year.
Ethan Hawke’s character changes almost as much as the kids. In a way it’s cool to watch his character grow up but it’s also a little sad. It’s not just that his character grows up it’s that he’s growing old and losing his spark.
I do think the end of the move does speak to the different paths that mothers and fathers often take following a divorce. I don’t want to spoil anything but the end made me sad because it reminded me of people in my own life.
Like the journey of life there really isn’t a clear plot to this movie. Yes, it’s a coming of age story but it really is just about growing up and that happens slowly through a series of events. Like I mentioned before I LOVED this movie, it has all of the authentic “real” qualities of a documentary but with the drama and narrative structure of a feature film. I highly recommend that everybody see it in the theatre.
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