Movie Title: Boyhood
Date Released: August 15th, 2014
Date Seen: January 22nd, 2015
Seen with: Kim
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
I decided to see this because of all I’ve heard about it and being nominated for the best picture Oscar. I’m glad I saw it. I can’t figure out exactly why I liked it so much, but I did.
We follow a boy, Mason (Ellar Coltrane) throughout his childhood, all the way up to age 18. The movie could just as easily have been called “parenthood” or “life” or something as similar. We just mainly see everything through Mason’s eyes in some way or another. The movie was filmed over 12 years, using the same actors for all the characters. While it is a bit “gimicky”, it would not be the same movie without this. You literally see Mason grow up right in front of your eyes. It makes the movie so much cooler. It feels like the scenes we see are all a sequence of moments that defined Mason. When you think back upon your life, you don’t remember every single moment that happened. You don’t even remember necessarily only “big” events. It’s just some events that defined you or changed you in some way.
So while the movie focuses on Mason, I found the story of the parents far more interesting – and of course the acting was eons better (though Ellar Coltrane did pretty great). We see Mom (Patricia Arquette) go through a number of husbands, schooling, all while raising her kids. We see Dad (Ethan Hawke) go from a dead-beat dad playing in a band to a hard working family man. Since we see the parents over the 12 years, it’s interesting to see the subtle changes in them each year.
Overall, the movie was pretty good, but again, I can’t pinpoint exactly why. My main problem with the movie is that there is almost no rewatchability. I can’t really think of a time I’d just pull out the movie to watch, other than to maybe show someone the movie I know would like it. To me, that is a problem. However, it’s still a very good movie and a nice piece of art with great directing.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review
There was one thing I think that either the director got VERY lucky, or was a freaking genius about – and that was the pop culture references. At the time, you couldn’t be certain Harry Potter would blow up like it it did – so was it an exceedingly lucky move to have them reading Harry Potter in bed one night? What was the scene you DID have in mind instead of the Harry Potter midnight premiere then? It just seems very lucky that some stuff worked out like that. I also wonder how much stuff landed on the cutting room floor.
It’s so good. You can’t really figure out why, it’s just a good honest movie that is oddly satisfying. However, there is limited rewatchability in the movie, which brings the score down a little bit for me.