Just getting in under the wire for Oscars, I have now watched Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. A movie where some are calling his masterpiece because of the way it was filmed. By taking twelve years to film we actually get to see a child grow up before our eyes. It is a great experiment in filmmaking and apart from the famous 7 Up documentaries it is surprising we haven’t seen this more often. Probably because it is a bitch to make sure we corral all of these actors and crew for each set of weeks Linklater filmed each year. I’m looking forward though to seeing if there is more to this film than the gimmick it is advertising. Considering how many Oscars it is up for, especially Best Picture, I have to imagine there is more to Richard Linklater’s….
00:15: Starting it off by rocking out to Coldplay!
02:20: Now we got The Hives in the background? Good lord this is a time capsule and we’re not five minutes in.
06:20: Ah, finding a Victoria Secret’s catalog in the trash. That’s childhood in a nutshell. (This caption above is a good way to get more hits on this article I feel.)
12:20: Oregon Trail on a Mac computer? And an Apple command reference? Jesus I feel old.
16:00: Gutterball! You suck kid!
17:30: Ethan Hawke telling his kids who to vote for AND talking about the Iraq War? Oh man, he is THAT kind of parent.
24:20: And Patricia Arquette is getting it on with her professor. And then marries him…she’s THAT kind of person.
26:05: A Q20 game? Man, it is getting difficult to keep track of so much nostalgia when I was a kid.
31:20-32:20: This new dad, The Professor, is an alcoholic? Oh and he treats people like garbage too? Mason sure has had terrible luck with parents. Also, Marco Perella’s drunk acting is hilarious. Just wobbling all over the place.
37:45: This is the point where I realize Ellar Coltrane has aged and it is so subtle you can’t tell. Probably going to have that experience a bunch of times while watching this. Also, so is Lorelei Linklater and it seems people forget about that.
39:35: Now I’m craving a hot dog at a Phillies games. Perferably by the Phanatic shooting it in my face at 100mph.
44:25: Ethan Hawke’s character is a Flaming Lips fan. That’s a +1 for him.
45:20: This is probably the creepiest barbershop I’ve ever seen. Who puts bass and deer heads all over the place? Answer: Rednecks. (God I wish I could find a photo of this because I am not joking at how scary it is.)
45:45: Well, that was horrible. And I have a feeling this is only going to get worse.
45:46-51:58: Yup it got worse.
52:20: Let’s feel a little better with this Will Ferrell video getting harassed by his little girl.
61:12: Oh no…now we’re gonna see some political hilarity with anti-Obama people. And OF COURSE Ethan Hawke is making them put these signs up.
63:13: Is the bowling alley really the only place Ethan Hawke can think of to hang out with his kids?
68:05: An easy way to tell someone has aged between scenes? Ellar Coltrane’s deep voice he is now spouting.
70:45: “Do you think there ever will be another Star Wars?” Well….
75:00: While watching I just realized that Richard Linklater somehow balanced shooting this and twelve other projects throughout the 11 year production. Crazy.
82:40: Mason picking cheese out of a dish in a party. How I do it every time.
85:00: Boyhood suddenly turns into American Sniper with this guy all of a sudden.
86:50: I feel like this dude in the car, who is showing his karate “skills” in an earlier scene, was suppose to be played by Jack Black. He certainly looks like him.
91:50: Ethan Hawke has now suddenly turned into a square. Talking about how bad investing in cars is.
96:55: A Bible for a present? Not to offend anyone but that is a horrible idea for a present even if you’re a Christian. Also, a gun for a fifteen year old? Yup this is Texas.
102:30: At this point the transformation Ethan Hawke has went through is crazy. I mean he still has the same beliefs and all but he really got himself better in the span of several years.
103:05-106:10: This sequence feels out of no where. We’ve gotten some hints that Mason wants to be an artist but this teacher is such an asshole to him. Feels like it is from a different film.
114:35: “Because I really enjoy making poor life decisions.” Yup that sums up Patricia Arquette’s character in a nutshell.
120:30: Okay, these speeches Mason is now in with his girlfriend feels like Richard Linklater’s Waking Life 1.5.
124:40: Those are some sick moves on a hula hoop girl!
129:00: My mistake, this is now turned into Before Sunrise: Austin Edition.
140:30: Just realized Uncle Steve is the “Boat Captain” (aka Bill Wise) from Waking Life. He’s awesome in that movie.
149:25: Okay, this is probably the most unbelievable thing I’ve seen in a movie since the car crash in Whiplash. Not saying an illegal immigrant can’t go from manual labor to manager at a restaurant. But….well I don’t know. Seems unbelievable. Although now that I think about it a lot of time passed between those two scenes. So I guess it makes sense.
151:30-153:02: I’m not saying that Patricia Arquette does a bad job because, like everyone else, she is very good. But I can tell this speech about life passing by her is what got her the Oscar nomination. A good scene expressing how parents feel when their children leave and Arquette does a great job with it.
156:25: I feel like taking shrooms and hiking is not a good mix. Tons of horror movies will tell you that.
Final Thoughts: This is one fantastic film and Richard Linklater does a masterful job with the experiment of letting all of his actors age for each scene. Not only is seeing Ellar Coltrane age as a kid to college student amazing but so is seeing Linklater’s daughter, Lorelei, age. In fact the latter doesn’t seem to be getting as much press as Coltrane which is weird. Granted she isn’t the focus of the film and her role dissipates as the film progresses; but she is just as good as Ellar in this. This movie though makes me feel old as hell with all the pop-culture references. I remember living through all of this whether it is the video games, music, or even political moments that shapes Mason’s childhood. Like I said before everyone does a great job here from the random non-actors Linklater puts in to the big stars in Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. Not sure if I agree that they were Oscar-nominated performances but there isn’t a bad moment in the bunch involved. At the end of the day I still think I found more entertainment value with the other Best Picture nominees in Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Boyhood is a prime example though of why Richard Linklater is one of the best filmmakers of our day. That and it is a well paced movie despite being almost three hours (cough)lookingatyouTheWolfOfWallStreet(cough).