PDA

View Full Version : Boyhood (Richard Linklater)



EvilShoe
06-26-2014, 11:47 AM
http://www.pathe.nl/gfx_content/posters/boyhood1.jpg

Pop Trash
06-29-2014, 04:46 AM
I'm a bit perplexed by the off-the-charts praise for this one (at least so far, I'm predicting some more critical analysis once it opens). Don't get me wrong; I still liked it a lot and will probably see it again outside of a film festival. Here's my review after it played at the San Francisco FF (with Linklater getting a -deserved imo- lifetime achievement award to boot):


The whole is more than the sum of its parts. The drunken stepfather stuff is creaky and dangerously approaches Lifetime movie dramatics. Plus what's up with nearly every adult male who isn't Ethan Hawke being a total dick? Is it that bad in Texas? Also, I'm not sure if she was always this way, but I just don't think Patricia Arquette is that good of an actress.

That said, the movie does have a mesmerizing verisimilitude with watching our young boy (and everyone else) grow up. It's just fascinating seeing what hot button issues are still relevant (the positivism of Obama turning into NSA pessimism by the end). A nice very Linklater ending too. I half expected the camera to start tumbling down the hill ala Slacker.

Boner M
06-29-2014, 05:25 AM
Seen it twice; richer the second time around.

Also I interviewed Ellar Coltrane (http://www.oystermag.com/interview-boyhoods-ellar-coltrane).

Pop Trash
06-29-2014, 06:09 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if millennials' connection with this is insane.

Watashi
06-29-2014, 07:45 AM
LOL at this movie being rated R.

Gittes
07-11-2014, 11:13 PM
I'm looking forward to this. I love this excerpt from Manohla Dargis' review (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/11/movies/movie-review-linklaters-boyhood-is-a-model-of-cinematic-realism.html?_r=0):


It’s no surprise that watching actors naturally age on camera without latex and digital effects makes for mesmerizing viewing. And at first it may be hard to notice much more than the creases etching Ethan Hawke’s face, the sexy swells of Patricia Arquette’s belly and Ellar Coltrane’s growth spurts. You may see your own face in those faces, your children’s, too. This kind of identification is familiar, as is the idea that movies preserve time. Andre Bazin wrote that art emerged from our desire to counter the passage of time and the inevitable decay it brings. But in Boyhood, Mr. Linklater’s masterpiece, he both captures moments in time and relinquishes them as he moves from year to year. He isn’t fighting time but embracing it in all its glorious and agonizingly fleeting beauty.

Mal
07-11-2014, 11:54 PM
A good movie that your mother will tell her friends to see.

Boner M
07-12-2014, 05:08 AM
LOL at this movie being rated R.
IFC to the rescue. (http://www.ifccenter.com/films/boyhood/)


While the MPAA has assigned BOYHOOD a rating of R, recommending that no one under 17 be admitted without a parent or guardian, IFC Center feels that the film is appropriate viewing for mature adolescents. Accordingly, the theater will admit high school age patrons at its discretion.

Watashi
07-12-2014, 06:14 AM
Holy fuck this movie.

As someone who spent a majority of his youth growing up and moving from city to city in Texas, this was a wallop of emotion.

I was a teary mess on the car ride home. It's actually quite embarrassing.

Skitch
07-12-2014, 02:09 PM
IFC to the rescue. (http://www.ifccenter.com/films/boyhood/)

I like this move a lot. I wish theaters would distance themselves from the MPAA more.

Watashi
07-14-2014, 06:35 AM
With 100 reviews in, this still holds a 100% tomatometer and an insane 9.2 average.

Also, WTF Melville.

Melville
07-17-2014, 09:32 PM
Also, WTF Melville.
It felt very long and tedious to me. Emotionally and visually flat. The protagonist is a blank the whole time, and the movie doesn't delve into his experience in any interesting way; even after three hours of watching him grow up, I felt like I didn't know him more than superficially. The final scene tells us that each moment is important, but none of the moments had any particular weight. The story just runs through them and relies on their "universality". For a Linklater exploration of everyday relationships and experiences, I prefer both Before Sunset and Before Midnight.

Pop Trash
07-18-2014, 01:54 AM
It felt very long and tedious to me. Emotionally and visually flat. The protagonist is a blank the whole time, and the movie doesn't delve into his experience in any interesting way; even after three hours of watching him grow up, I felt like I didn't know him more than superficially. The final scene tells us that each moment is important, but none of the moments had any particular weight. The story just runs through them and relies on their "universality". For a Linklater exploration of everyday relationships and experiences, I prefer both Before Sunset and Before Midnight.

While I liked it more than you, I'm glad somebody is pumping the breaks on this "masterpiece." I should note that I much prefer a blank than a character that's overly/poorly written.

Watashi
07-18-2014, 06:06 AM
Yes, be glad that someone is disliking a movie that a lot of people love. :rolleyes:

eternity
07-20-2014, 06:25 AM
75% genuine bliss and 25% phony bullshit.

Boner M
07-21-2014, 11:28 AM
Yes, be glad that someone is disliking a movie that a lot of people love. :rolleyes:
What's wrong with appreciating a dissenting voice so that consensus opinion more accurately reflects one's own? I loved the film, and even I find the gushing unanimity of the critical response to be unhealthy and unflattering. Even you said above that the 9.2 RT rating is "insane".

Gittes
07-27-2014, 03:30 AM
I do think there's some truth to some of Melville's criticisms. While watching, I was occasionally struck by the sense of something fading in and out of harmony with my expectations. Even so, I would like to revisit this before really settling on an opinion, as I suspect I will be even more receptive the second time around.

There is definitely something magical about this film; it's as if exposure to its images initiates a kind of delayed-action resonance, timed to activate hours after viewing, wherein you suddenly find yourself brought to tears by an overwhelming sense of years lived and time lost. Linklater has mounted a trove of well-observed, redolent details. Life, Boyhood reminds us, is a generous but often confounding wellspring of moments, and many of these are movingly and deceptively prosaic. In the film, this quotidian tapestry is occasionally punctuated by inevitable traumas and upheavals, but more emphasis is placed on a wider array of quieter developments and desultory periods of growth.

As in all films, the diversity of moments astound and elude us at once, but the familiar experience of receding images is of especial significance here. The details of Mason's life dissipate in accordance with the film's exceedingly natural rhythms, and much of the accrued power derives from the successful application of another of Linklater's inspired and elaborate filmmaking experiments. All of this generates a profound spectatorial ache. This finds a kind of correlate in Mason's thoughtful disposition, which is at once serene and melancholic, and therefore especially well-suited to a film that is so sensitive to the prodigious miracles and ravages of time.

Dead & Messed Up
07-27-2014, 06:48 AM
I liked this movie, although I found its first half more interesting than its second. Oddly, the most moving part for me was the waiter talking to the mom at the end.

Pop Trash
07-27-2014, 08:20 AM
Oddly, the most moving part for me was the waiter talking to the mom at the end.

I found that scene to be an epic groaner. He may as well have said "Hey, you might remember me from earlier in the movie when..."

Weems
07-27-2014, 03:57 PM
Didn't work for me. It's a sprawl, it doesn't coalesce into anything, just mechanically unfurls more or less banal sequences in the life of an unexceptional, taciturn boy/teenager. Aside from Ethan Hawke, who's very lively initally, none of the performances were noteworthy (I like Arquette and she's always been a very underrated actress, but the praise she's getting isn't commensurate with what's onscreen; there's a nice scene of her dispatching her professorial duties, as well as a fine emotional outburst or two, but it's low-key, very reactive, largely unimpressive work, more attention-grabbing for the change in her physique 30 minutes or whatever into the film than for any kind of cumulative effect).

Gittes
07-28-2014, 06:38 PM
I recently learned that Stanley Kubrick was going to adopt a similar approach while filming Napoleon. The plan allegedly entailed filming Al Pacino at various points throughout a number of years. On that note, since watching Boyhood, I've found myself wondering what someone like Terrence Malick or Paul Thomas Anderson would yield if they were to pursue a similar conceit.

Gittes
07-28-2014, 08:09 PM
Also: one of the nice memories related to viewing this was noticing the older gentleman next to me discreetly wiping away some tears as the sequence set to Family of the Year's "Hero" played out. I prefer very sparsely occupied theatres -- empty, ideally, although I don't recall this ever happening -- but this was one of the touching benefits of seeing the film amidst a very substantial audience.

Mysterious Dude
07-29-2014, 05:02 AM
The protagonist is a blank the whole time
Mason reminded me of the main character in Waking Life, another young man who spends most of the movie being talked at, rather than being engaged in the conversation, until close to the end. I don't know if this is significant.

Ivan Drago
08-06-2014, 02:59 AM
Holy fuck this movie.

As someone who spent a majority of his youth growing up and moving from city to city in Texas, this was a wallop of emotion.

I thought you were from Minnesota?

Ezee E
08-10-2014, 02:23 AM
The concept is good, and there are some good moments throughout. Maybe it's the point, but the adults mostly seem like caricatures outside of the actual parents, with the alcoholism being kind of hokey to me. I enjoyed it in the same vein as I enjoyed the Up Documentaries (clips of this were played before the movie).

The movie is at its absolute best when the parents are trying to understand their children, or connect with them on a further level.

I kind of wonder if Linklater will go through on a sequel with this into Adulthood. I'd be interested.

eternity
08-10-2014, 02:57 AM
Watching one of the adult characters pour a drink that's 95% alcohol and 5% Sprite was one of the funniest things I've seen in a movie in a long time. Probably wasn't supposed to be, but I chuckled heartily as did many others in the theater.

Ezee E
08-10-2014, 03:04 AM
Watching one of the adult characters pour a drink that's 95% alcohol and 5% Sprite was one of the funniest things I've seen in a movie in a long time. Probably wasn't supposed to be, but I chuckled heartily as did many others in the theater.

Yeah, that was hilarious, along with his hate of squash.

Watashi
08-11-2014, 04:41 AM
I thought you were from Minnesota?

Grew up all over Texas. Didn't move to MN until halfway through high school.

Saw this film again. I loved watching the audience reactions this time around. The scene where Mason is hanging in the attic throwing buzz saws had a lot of people squirming and one guy screamed, but I love how Linklater doesn't go for the expected or the "big moment" (another example is when Mason tells his mom that Sam is pregnant which had a couple behind me go "I knew it" and then it's brushed off as a joke). Just a beautifully woven film of sparse moments.

Watashi
08-11-2014, 04:42 AM
Watching one of the adult characters pour a drink that's 95% alcohol and 5% Sprite was one of the funniest things I've seen in a movie in a long time. Probably wasn't supposed to be, but I chuckled heartily as did many others in the theater.

It's definitely an intentional funny moment.

Ezee E
08-11-2014, 05:13 AM
Grew up all over Texas. Didn't move to MN until halfway through high school.

Saw this film again. I loved watching the audience reactions this time around. The scene where Mason is hanging in the attic throwing buzz saws had a lot of people squirming and one guy screamed, but I love how Linklater doesn't go for the expected or the "big moment" (another example is when Mason tells his mom that Sam is pregnant which had a couple behind me go "I knew it" and then it's brushed off as a joke). Just a beautifully woven film of sparse moments.

This. I had an older "know it all" couple that kept getting fooled throughout. Besides what you mentioned, there was also an extended scene of a car backing up where they knew that they were going to get hit, or the scene with the bullies and Mason that never really went beyond what we saw.

number8
08-11-2014, 06:12 PM
There's a lot of rug pulling like that, and they're definitely deliberate. Like Ethan Hawke telling Mason not to use his phone while driving, and then we see him look at a cute animal on Facebook while driving.

Or how Nikole came back and you thought they're gonna recognize each other from when they were kids, but the movie just ends before they figured that out.

I think it was also an intentional choice that the kid positioned in front of the buzzsaw is the youngest, a virgin, and yeah, not white.

Dead & Messed Up
08-11-2014, 08:38 PM
There's a lot of rug pulling like that, and they're definitely deliberate. Like Ethan Hawke telling Mason not to use his phone while driving, and then we see him look at a cute animal on Facebook while driving.

This was very clever. "Don't do that, something's gonna happen!... wait, no it won't. This isn't that kind of movie."

Gittes
08-11-2014, 08:53 PM
In my case, the audience's dread was audible during the scene when Mason and the other boys were throwing the blades. I'm not going to demarcate myself from these observations, of course, as there were several instances where my expectations were similarly defied, including the aforementioned scene. That's definitely one of the interesting things about the movie. During the scene in the diner with Mason and his girlfriend, someone near me briefly mistook the eccentric at the other table as his former alcoholic stepdad (Marco Perella), which perhaps speaks to the obvious spectatorial desire for something traditionally climactic and intense, which the film rarely ever appeases in a traditional way (see Linklater's comments, below). This contributes to the film's distinction and appeal, of course.

Not surprisingly, my first example isn't atypical. Linklater has commented on it (http://www.vulture.com/2014/07/richard-linklater-talks-directing-boyhood.html), and it apparently was not deliberate:



But that expectation for a big, cinematic moment can be kind of fascinating to behold. There’s a scene in the movie where Mason and his friends are throwing these dangerous metal blades around, just goofing off, and I remember when I saw the film at Sundance, the audience was completely convinced that one of the characters would get hurt. When the scene ended, people actually laughed at themselves, because it was like a gun that hadn’t gone off.

Oh, that was fascinating! I heard a chill go through the audience, but something like that never crossed my mind! As a young person, you risk your life regularly while fucking around, and you make it through. But I did think, Oooh, the audience really thinks something is going to happen. Did I just disappoint everyone? You see how we’re conditioned by movies? They usually depict the out-of-the-ordinary stuff — like, people pay to see the stuff that doesn’t happen in their own lives. We want to see great violence, great sex, great adventure and romance, but I was playing a different game here, obviously, hoping that the cumulative effect would have a different effect on you emotionally.

Pop Trash
08-11-2014, 09:30 PM
That's probably why the scenes where it veered into more conventional drama and conflict stuck out to me; namely the alcoholic step-dad stuff. I also kept thinking of other recent indie films that handled that topic better such as The Spectacular Now and Adventureland. Adventureland in particular since that movie is never really about alcoholism and handles it with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it light touch.

I did like how that step-dad is just dropped out of the movie. Some people on letterboxd criticized that, but to me it seems very life-like. "Whelp that guy is over, won't see him again ever."

number8
08-11-2014, 10:09 PM
I was thinking that you can argue that it's so pronounced and pointed in the first stepdad to contrast it with the second stepdad, who is also then implied later to be an abusive drunk, but never shown like the first one. His exit was even more abrupt. The movie is about growth, and its POV grows with Mason. Mason could see where the second stepdad was going because of his childhood, and the audience could suss out what the fuck happened between cuts to that guy because of the belabored drunken dad scene from before.

Dead & Messed Up
08-11-2014, 11:07 PM
Yes to that too. It's cool how much that implies about Arquette's character, simply through omission.

ledfloyd
08-17-2014, 12:28 AM
I liked this movie, although I found its first half more interesting than its second. Oddly, the most moving part for me was the waiter talking to the mom at the end.

It's weird, because I felt the second half of the film was infinitely more engaging than the first.

I don't agree with Melville's take, but I'm definitely sympathetic to it. It took me a good while to really get into the film. I think it happened around the condom scene. I don't know if it was the cumulative effect of the film at that point or what.

I have a lot of little quibbles with various parts of the film, but I'd like to revisit it.

Kurosawa Fan
08-17-2014, 04:27 AM
To my great surprise, this opened at my theater this weekend. Might try to catch it before it leaves on Thursday.

ledfloyd
08-17-2014, 05:50 PM
To my great surprise, this opened at my theater this weekend. Might try to catch it before it leaves on Thursday.
Yeah, I was surprised it showed up here as well.

Decent turn out for the 2:40 matinee yesterday. Maybe 20 people? An old couple walked out about an hour in.

ledfloyd
08-18-2014, 04:26 PM
Or how Nikole came back and you thought they're gonna recognize each other from when they were kids, but the movie just ends before they figured that out.

Wait, who was Nikole the first time?

Watashi
08-18-2014, 04:33 PM
Wait, who was Nikole the first time?

Supposedly she's the same girl that passed Mason the note in class. I don't think that's true.

number8
08-18-2014, 04:45 PM
That's the beauty of it. In movies, when you have two characters with the same name, age, and skin color, you're typically meant to draw connections, which is why I was expecting the movie to connect the dots. But that's not the case in real life.

For what it's worth, it's not the same actress apparently.

dreamdead
08-18-2014, 08:28 PM
Loved this without reserve until Mason Junior started his junior year, then I started withdrawing a bit. It felt like a return to Slacker's excessive paranoid delusions, where bitching about being anti-whatever undercuts the nuance that had been achieved elsewhere. I realize that this is likely a part of every teenager and that I'm glossing over my own iterations with anti-establishment and -conformity, but Linklater and the cast could have established Mason's reservations about conformity in a more nuanced manner. Hell, the whole photographing of the football scene conveys it all without paranoid annoyance.

Lorelei Linklater kills it. Hawke's solid. I think I'd have liked Arquette to not be so weak and mentally break at the loss of all of her children, but the choices that she and Linklater put her down justify that reaction, even if its slightly overdone.

Need to think on this one more.

Kurosawa Fan
08-25-2014, 03:51 AM
It felt very long and tedious to me. Emotionally and visually flat. The protagonist is a blank the whole time, and the movie doesn't delve into his experience in any interesting way; even after three hours of watching him grow up, I felt like I didn't know him more than superficially. The final scene tells us that each moment is important, but none of the moments had any particular weight. The story just runs through them and relies on their "universality". For a Linklater exploration of everyday relationships and experiences, I prefer both Before Sunset and Before Midnight.

Fantastic summation. Tedious is a bit strong, but the film is ridden with cliche moments and characters, and has very little to say about human connection, family, and companionship. I mean, it's one thing to not offer up easy answers, it's another to offer no answers at all. And yet, the film was oddly didactic in small moments, which I don't say as a compliment. The format also did the film no favors when it came to giving depth to any character outside of MJ. They just hover around him like wallflowers. It also had an especially troubling depiction (or lack of depiction) of women. His mother is an intelligent woman who is never shown making an intelligent decision. His sister is a complete blank slate, even though she's in the film quite a bit. The other women barely register such as his girlfriend who sleeps with another guy behind his back and his mom's coworker who basically offers to have sex with him before he's leaving for college. I know the men aren't portrayed in a much more favorable or detailed light, but I can't think of one positive portrayal of a female in the film. Oh, and this has the most embarrassing scene of any film I've seen this year. The Mexican restaurant manager who stops by their table to tell his mother how she changed his life through one comment while he was fixing her septic line.

dreamdead
09-07-2014, 02:43 AM
Been thinking about my experience with this one. When I saw it, it was with friends who totally identified with Mason's experience, saying how it felt like Linklater had transplanted their childhood to the screen. And I think the film powerfully captures isolated moments really, really well. The opening years, when Mason's forced to abandon his first house and friends, has such a bittersweet air to it. This power is echoed when Arquette and company abandon husband #2 and the stepchildren--where characters who seemed integral to the story just wash away--it's moments like those that the film's architecture perfectly works.

Where it's odd is how little the Mason and Samantha seem to genuinely speak to their mother. This facet would have afforded a chance to offset KF's critique of the worldview feeling skewed a little too masculine heavy. While I don't feel it's an irredeemable trait, though, it is realistic to note how the Before... series had a female writer who allowed more humanity into a character equally narcissistic and devoted to herself. That sense of grace and calm is something noticeably missing from this film, so that Arquette's character is the one logical choice to anchor a counter-narrative to the template elsewhere presented. I'll grant that this film is principally seen through Mason's eyes and so maybe that moment just can't "naturally" occur, but the fact that Linklater avoids that is a central flaw in a film otherwise generally successful.

Spinal
10-27-2014, 02:05 AM
After watching this, I forgive Richard Linklater for Waking Life and all of his other indulgences. Does it work in every single moment? No, but it's hard to nitpick individual scenes when the cumulative experience is so deep, so powerful. Most importantly, it doesn't feel like a gimmick film. It feels like an artist going to extraordinary lengths to use the means necessary to convey specific feelings and emotions. I have to hand it to him. I can't imagine another filmmaker that could have made this film. It may or may not be one of the year's best films. But it's hard to deny it's a singular experience, and far more cohesive than I would have expected.

Grouchy
12-22-2014, 07:41 PM
Yeah, this film is something else. It feels like the one Linklater has been building towards during his entire career.

Pop Trash
01-09-2015, 11:56 PM
I liked this much better the second time around. I found the alcoholic step-dad to be (intentionally I'm sure) hilarious this time. Him getting angry at the golf game, the 'W' magnet on his refrigerator, "I hate squash!," the casual way the film implies he is one of the liquor store's best customers. Really funny. Arquette's acting didn't bother me nearly as much this time either. I also like how the film echoes back to Waking Life by having Mason being almost an impartial passenger in his own life. He just seems to casually absorb everything that happens to him while everyone else espouses their ideologies towards him.

Dukefrukem
01-18-2015, 12:30 PM
That's 3 hours of my life gone.

Irish
01-18-2015, 01:02 PM
I admire the daring behind it, but ... Yeah. Melville & KF probably said it best.

For a movie called "Boyhood," with that kid's face on the poster, it's not really about him. It's about the parents, and especially Ethan Hawke (who has an increasing habit of talking like his Before character, who often feels like a stand-in for the director. That little Beatles monologue felt like an outtake from an earlier Linklater film).

I almost threw something at the screen at the end during Arquette's showy monologue/ epiphany. This again felt like the screenwriter/ director talking through his characters. In a better movie, you wouldn't have to spoonfeed the audience the "Is that all there is?" line. We'd get the emotional truth of the moment, or the film, without anyone having to come right out and say what she said.

I admired the stones it took to put the movie together more than I enjoyed the film. It is, on some level, a grand experiment (but also one that's not terribly surprising, since Linklater has been playing around with the nature of time on film since at least Slacker. This is a new arrangement of a number he's been singing for twenty or thirty years.)

I hope to hell this doesn't win Best Picture.

PS: It's curious to me that, in the same year, we got two movies that share the same concern. Linklater and Nolan are both middle aged men with grown, or growing, children and both of them made movies expressing their anxiety around that.

Pop Trash
01-18-2015, 08:54 PM
I hope to hell this doesn't win Best Picture.


Strangely, I actually agree with you if only so I don't have to hear people bitching about how Boyhood and Linklater are 'overrated' for the rest of my life. Put the inevitable BP backlash on Birdman and Inarritu plz.

MadMan
01-21-2015, 08:58 AM
Boyhood is great but Linklater has done better. I should view his Before... trilogy. And Waking Life. I've only seen five of his movies.

dreamdead
02-13-2015, 07:08 PM
I really like this nuanced take (http://www.wsj.com/articles/what-boyhood-shows-us-about-girlhood-1423247453?mod=e2tw) on gender roles and how societal expectations shape Mason and Samantha:


For the first half of the film, as Mason dreams, Samantha competes with him. She dominates, teases and outperforms her younger brother (in reality, the actors playing the brother and sister were born only months apart). When Samantha first appears, she whizzes by Mason on her bike, calling him home for dinner. She taunts him by singing a Britney Spears song, speaking pig Latin and reminding him that he flunked first grade.

Even in early adolescence, Samantha remains outspoken, challenging her controlling stepfather about the pointlessness of dusting, worrying about her stepsiblings when he turns abusive and her mother flees the house.

But in the film’s last hour, Samantha starts to fade. Her speech and voice start to disintegrate audibly: She speaks less, signals uncertainty with the constant use of the filler phrase “I mean” and punctuates many of her statements with a nervous laugh. At Mason’s high school graduation party, she makes a toast only after being prompted to do so.

Morris Schæffer
02-17-2015, 10:05 AM
Good, but I wish the filmmaking was more memorable. Seems odd that, for a 165-minute movie I'm finding it quite challenging to name a scant few scenes that have lingered in my mind. I was thinking of The Tree of Life and how that was also about Childhood, but thanks to more lyrical, poetic filmmaking ensured the somewhat mundane subject matter got transcended. Here, Linklater points his camera and shoots. There are no embellishment, no stylistic flourishes, virtually not a single shot that made me go "wow that's beautiful" or "I miss my childhood". Perhaps the kids in this movie aren't the kind that would miss their childhood seeing as it wasn't a particularly happy time, but the point is that I found it a bit dullish from a directorial pov. The loser stepfathers? Not crazy about them, but they do inject some conflict into the movie that I felt was needed. There's a scene early on where the young Mason is sitting behind his house and he is looking at the tiny cadaver of a bird. I was moved by that because, in a fleeting, very subtle yet profoundly true and earnest way, it tackles the subject of death at perhaps an age where we're beginning to grasp its meaning. And I really liked the very end when Hawke and Arquette have a small moment together in the kitchen and they seem to finally come to terms with how they really have done allright given everything that's happened. Although, and I'm only realizing this now, her observation to Hawke that it was gonna start all over again with the kid and the wife showed perhaps an undercurrent of bitterness (or envy) for the Arquette character. The 1st failed husband has settled down, seems to be part of a happy family whereas she isn't anywhere near that. There was some warmth there, some much needed character interaction and heartfelt emotion in a movie whose characters I found a bit distant, a bit borish. The ending is perfect, because it ends when it has to, but because it's a beautiful scene in a movie that, to me at least, didn't have enough of them. I suspect that even if I had given this four stars, I most likely would never have had the desire to see it again. And I agree with Irish that the "I thought there would be more" line didn't work. He goes on to say that such an idea would have gotten across more persuasively in a better movie. I think that scene is already there in my description above (italicized).

***/4

transmogrifier
02-22-2015, 09:51 AM
76/100

Quietly resonant collection of memories that accumulate emotional momentum as you come to realize that the film is merely interested in proving that life is the sum of every moment, large and small, rather than laying out some cliched origin story so beloved in the time of comic book movies.

I loved the fact that Mason remains a cipher throughout, and it is hard to truly get a read on his personality, because by the time the movie ends, he himself has no read on it either; he sees stretched before him the same possibilities and pitfalls he has personally seen his family and friends encounter. I've seen some people complain about Arquette's mini-meltdown near the end, claiming it is too neat, or too contrived for the naturalism that preceded it, but it is telling that it immediately cuts away and doesn't allow it to be resolved, and doesn't allow Mason a chance to placate his mother, because the movie comes to us directly from his eyes, and at that stage, he has nothing to say, and in fact, probably has no ability to empathize with his mother. To him, as presented by the movie, all the pieces still matter, the bathroom bullying, the night spent throwing saw blades at wood, the time all his hair got cut off; he can't sympathize with the mourning of the passing of milestones because that concept hasn't hit him yet. He is still of the moment.

(Interested to see so many people mezzo-mezzo on this here; remove the dialogue, cut the scenes down even further, make the cinematography showier, add pretentious, grating voiceovers, and you have The Tree of Life)

Pop Trash
02-23-2015, 06:14 AM
76/100
(Interested to see so many people mezzo-mezzo on this here; remove the dialogue, cut the scenes down even further, make the cinematography showier, add pretentious, grating voiceovers, and you have The Tree of Life)

You forgot the goddamn dinosaurs!

max314
02-23-2015, 10:54 AM
Boyhood (Linklater, 2014):

The time shifts are never broadcast and no egregious pretensions towards narrative drive are made. The result is a cascading river of life and love that pulls you into its flow and forces you to ask the most important questions...and reminds us to forget the petty ones.

★★★★★

DavidSeven
03-02-2015, 08:50 AM
Linklater basically confirms his status as master of the American "slice-of-life" film. It actually reminds me most of Dazed and Confused. That film also had a young blank slate protagonist that Linklater doesn't do much with. Yet, Linklater has a special knack for putting these cardboard figures in everyday occurrences and making them enthralling anyway. I think it was Tarantino who commented that watching Dazed and Confused felt like "hanging out with friends." This film has a similar feel. Although it's less of a "hangout movie" than Linklater's earlier stoner tale, he still manages to make you feel as though you're in the room and living life with these characters. It's an intangible quality that he handles best.

While the accomplishment is great, I hesitate to put Boyhood on the same level as the last two installments of his Before series. There are elements here that aren't just bad; they're so bad that they stick out and reverberate. For example, the scene with the boys hanging out at the abandoned house is so poorly scripted, acted and staged that it borders on incompetence to keep it in. It was either that or hubris. The scene offers no necessary information and could have been cut rather easily. The drunk dick step-father was compelling the first time around; trite as a motif when it was extended to a second character. As with a lot of Linklater's work, you wish he had a little more to offer as a visual storyteller.

Still, a very compelling 3-hours.