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Boyhood: I Guess This Is Growing Up

August 13, 2014

Boyhood movie poster

Ethan Hawke called Boyhood “Timelapse photography of a human being.” This film directed by Richard Linklater was 12 years in the making and proves to be a beautiful experiment that combines the best of Linklater’s previous films. Boyhood is an incredible experience full of depth, intelligence and wonderful conversations.

Boyhood girlfriend

Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater and Ellar Coltrane make up the four who we follow for 12 years. Together they make for an engaging foursome who all adapt and evolve as they grow up, get divorced (twice), graduate high school, buy minivans and figure themselves out.

Boyhood has a heart and soul like none other. There are moments that will crush you while others prove to be uplifting. Religion, divorce, alcoholism, art and adulthood are portrayed with maturity and nobody falls into caricature. Texas becomes its own character and its wide open terrain provides a perfect backdrop for philosophical musings.  I love the moment when Hawke tells Coltrane the surefire way to attract women. He says “You have to ask them lots of questions, and then you have to listen.”

boyhood hawke

Linklater is great at creating intriguing characters who engage in wonderful discussions. His films Slacker, Dazed and Confused, School of Rock, Waking Life, Bernie and the Before trilogy are all marvels of dialogue and memorable characters. He creates human beings who are curious about the world and are open to new experiences. Their plights are never earth shattering and nobody ventures into melodrama and because of that their problems feel real.

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What I love about Boyhood is how much it respects its audience. There are no markers of time. We understand the time change via songs, Obama campaigns and various new technological devices. The film is inhabited with supporting characters who go out of their way to offer sage advice. Linklater is unrivaled in his ability to make supporting characters endearing. Characters who get several minutes of screen time prove to be more three dimensional than the majority of people who inhabit celluloid nowadays. For instance, Matthew McConaughey is still riding the Wooderson Dazed and Confused bandwagon.

dazed and confused

Boyhood is a beautiful achievement and is easily the best film of the year. Watch the film. Promote the film. Appreciate the beauty in front of you. Listen to more Foghat.

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