Sunday, July 27, 2014

Boyhood - Movie Review

Boyhood (R) 165 mins A

Starring Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Marco Perella, Evie Thompson, Brad Hawkins and Jenni Tooley

This film is amazing for several reasons. Filmed in sequence over a 12 year period (2002 to 2013) using the same actors, I found it interesting to watch this cast/their characters grow up and grow older. It seems remarkable that everyone stayed on board with this project for over a decade. Furthermore, no three hour film I have ever seen has done so little (in regard to plot), yet expressed so much. After the credits rolled I walked out of the movie theatre and thought, "that was great! Immediately followed by the thought, "it's too bad more people won't see it. It's cliché to say, but experiences like this is why I go to the movies. This film is real life, full of real ups and downs, yet it's not depressing. People tell me all the time that they go to the movies to escape real life. Boyhood is as good an escape as any 3D alien film, action-adventure film, etc... and one doesn't have to suspend belief.

Boyhood not only follows the plight of a young boy maturing into a young man, it also follows the ebb and flow of adulthood. I usually dread films with running times that exceed 120 minutes. But, this is storytelling so delicate, so humanistic, it needed 165 minutes to unfold organically. By the end of the film I found myself intertwined in these characters- I cared about them. I applauded director Richard Linklater for last year's Before Midnight, hailing it mature film making at its best. But, Boyhood takes it to another level. This is the film that 2011's Tree of Life wished it could be. So, do yourself a favor and go see Boyhood. It is sure to get plenty of buzz six months from now when awards season rolls around. Highly recommended!

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