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JackBurtonNasGarrasDoMandarim's avatar


9 years 5 months ago
devilsadvocado's avatar


I have all the respect in the world for this project, and yet I still feel as if it were a wasted opportunity to do something truly memorable given the timeframe/format. There just wasn't enough there for me to still be talking about Boyhood years or even months from now.
9 years 5 months ago
khoem's avatar


What more can be said, praising or otherwise, but.....did you notice the liquor store clerk was the same liquor store clerk from Dazed and Confused?
9 years 5 months ago
jhhayes's avatar


Tremendous film! Probably one of - if not the - best coming-of-age films I've ever seen. Not to mention the extraordinary technical undertaking that was achieved. Loved it!
9 years 5 months ago
Tiago Costa's avatar

Tiago Costa

I don’t say this lightly but Boyhood is one of the best films I’ve ever seen. Yet it is not a film filled with great revelatory moments or dazzling technical brilliance. It is distinctly ordinary in almost every department, but this is ultimately what makes it such a special experience that will resonate with any audience whether closer in age to the film’s chief protagonist or the adults struggling with parenthood: It is a film about life.

However, it is not simply a film about a life but rather about every life that orbits Mason, an average Texan boy from the age of six to eighteen. It is a true coming-of-age drama whether focused on the growing pains of a young boy, his carefree father who finally discovers responsibility or his single mother who finds independence and self-worth after a series of failed marriages.

As central as adolescence is to the story, Boyhood is essentially about growth - something that doesn’t simply stop at the magical age of eighteen or affect one character. Each family member experiences great personal, collective and cultural change. It is a film that achieves that rare feat - connecting with an audience on multiple levels whether recalling small moments of your own childhood or sympathising with the difficulties and responsibilities that adulthood also brings.

Twelve years in the making, director Richard Linklater has crafted a truly epic film. Its scope and ambition is greater than a multi-million dollar blockbuster yet it is a humble family drama that eschews heightened drama for smaller, almost incidental, moments. Shooting piecemeal over the twelve years Linklater has created a rich tapestry of life, focusing on the formative years of an ordinary young boy but also broadening the canvas to create a cultural time capsule for the new century.

Much has been made about its experimental and unorthodox production but its hook - filming the same actors each year for over a decade - is not simply an attention-grabbing gimmick. Linklater isn’t even the first director to attempt such a feat (most recently Michael Winterbottom shot Everyday over a five-year period) but he is arguably the first to truly explore its potential.

Watching characters physically and emotionally grow on screen over such a lengthy period is a revelatory experience but the film is as much about the drama occurring off screen as it is about the drama captured by the camera. The characters do not merely exist within the bubble of the camera lens, they exist outside it too experiencing joys and sorrows that the audience never see. It seems such a trivial and inconsequential detail but it creates a wholly unique experience. Where film is normally a condensed and hermetically-sealed environment, the world of Boyhood continues to spin and grow beyond the control of the director or gaze of the audience.

Linklater wisely and surprisingly focuses on the moments between the milestones in life. It is not a film concerned with documenting the cliches of adolescence - first kiss, first drink, prom etc. - but rather those transient in-between moments that prove just as transformative in their own quiet ways. Conflict is drama, as the saying goes, but Boyhood seriously challenges this assumption. There are few moments of conventional drama in the film yet it remains a riveting, witty and heartfelt experience throughout its lengthy but never unwelcome run time.

In fact, the only time the film falters is when it attempts those moments of heightened drama (most focused on the mother’s abusive second marriage). Where the rest of the film feels organic these rare scenes scream of directorial control and manufactured drama. Thankfully, any such moments are rare and fleeting. Instead, the film is dominated by the ebb and flow of life as lives and stories unfold in an episodic manner.

Linklater’s approach is aimless and ambling, yet so is life. This is not a film concerned with character arcs, even though each family member has one, or neat resolutions. It is merely documenting a period of time and where lives will continue when the cameras stop rolling. The weight of time and its nostalgic pull is a constant presence yet it is a film that always exists within the moment. References that may now seem knowing or cute were not made with foresight but rather responding to the time and place of the moment.

It’s hard to imagine the difficulties of casting a child actor with such a great responsibility for the success of a movie. Yet Ellar Coltrane as Mason Jr. is a natural, growing from an inquisitive six-year old through the awkward early teenage years to becoming a young man filled with questions but few answers. Boyhood does not just document the growth of Mason but of Ellar too. Similarly, the rest of the cast, led by the ever-reliable Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, deliver natural and unaffected performances. It is only Lorelei Linklater as Mason’s elder sister who struggles in some of the earlier scenes yet as she plays such a precocious youngster even her affected performance seems strangely fitting.

Poignant, tender, funny and reflective - Boyhood is one of the most significant films of the twenty-first century.
9 years 5 months ago
Vig's avatar


If this wins the oscar, hipsters will officially have taken over the country.
9 years 5 months ago
BigAwesomeBLT's avatar


Really enjoyable. It reminded me of watching my brothers grow up.

There were some great little bits from random years I loved. "Solja Boi" in ~2007, Blink 182 playing near the beginning, Harry Potter book launches, Random teenage parties and picking a Uni.

Knowing roughly Mason Jr's age throughout meant the film felt a little long, but I'm sure that will change on further watches. I knew the movie was 2hr 40mins, so I had set aside time for it.

I'm a massive Linklater fan. I could see references to Slacker, Dazed and Confused and the Before trilogy throughout. LOVED the before-like long take when Mason is around 14/15, talking to the girl on the bike.

Hoping for a sequel in 12 years.
9 years 5 months ago
Diegogosf's avatar


I had great expectations of the movie because all the reviewsI read said amazing things of the movie. In my personal opinion, I think the project is really great. They filmed through the years.. ok that was great but the plot, the story? I find it boring and predictable.
Another thing I don't understand how the actress won the golden globe and is nominated for the academy award, I think that if we look for other movies, we'll find quite better actresses to nominated as supporting role.
9 years 6 months ago
DonCorleone1208's avatar


This is one of the most boring movies I have ever seen. Seriously, don't watch it. I'll give you a brief summary: kids grow up. Nothing happens. End of movie.
9 years 6 months ago
HyliaFischer's avatar


Only very few movies are as emotional as this one.
9 years 6 months ago
Alex Rogue's avatar

Alex Rogue

Overly long,dull and unimaginative.It was a pain watching it to the end,but I never give up on potential Oscar movies.The script is awful.It's a praise to typical, white American family and values,at the same time being disgustingly stereotypical.His mother discovering hidden abilities in a poor Mexican immigrant, when she, being an adult who had just finished studying, struggles to talk with him in Spanish? Really,Linklater,is that all that you've got?Along with overwhelming pathology as an alcoholic father-in-law?A lot of cheesy, uncomfortable moments, which, I felt, were inserted into the story, because there was no other idea to make it really interesting and special.This movie made me really uncomfortable, because it was so superficial. Boyhood is an uninvolving ode to nothing.And I couldn't stand the characters,Mason,his sister and mother.Struggling with delivering meaningless dialogues about the sense of life,blah, blah.They were painful to watch. The whole movie is blah blah in fact.But it catches the attention of critics and filmmakers because it has been filmed for 12 years and,as I said, it's a 3 hour long ode to Americanism (white Americanism).
9 years 6 months ago
Zolex's avatar


This is one of a kind. It's one of those movies where I get so drawn into the story that when someone comes along and leave again, I wan't to know eveything that happened to them as well. One of those movies that could go on and on for hours without being bored.

The acting was superb for most of the movie. Ellar Coltrane had a period where he was so bad at acting I don't know how to explain it, but that just made it so much more real.

I don't know how a movie without a clear storyline managed to get me so drawn into it, but I think the fact that it's just life as it is made it interesting. We follow this one guy, and we get to know him, his family, their problems and everything around them, and it's just what it is.

9 years 6 months ago
Jace Lightner's avatar

Jace Lightner

9 years 6 months ago
paul281f's avatar


Boyhood Review

When I reflect on the new film Boyhood I am conflicted on what I think of it. As rock musician Frank Zappa once said “The most important thing in art is the frame”, and I believe Boyhood can be viewed in in two very different frames. In one way I viewed it as a pointless gimmicky Pseudo-ambitious cheap drama and in another as the most persuasive argument for nihilism I’ve ever seen. If the intention of the boyhood team was to create an epic coming-of-age drama then in this respect it was a failure, but if it tried to negate the meaning of aspects of human life then it was a wondrous success.
To start things off I did not hate Boyhood and I definitely didn’t love it. I felt it was a below average film but I have only become so passionate about its mediocrity in part because of its widespread acclaim. It seems that many people may view the film as important and revolutionary in its use of the same actors over an eleven year span but I don’t know exactly why. Sure this not a gimmick you see every day in the movie theater but it’s a gimmick nonetheless. I don’t want to come off as sounding as though I’m thoroughly against gimmicks, if used in a good film they won’t detract. Was Hitchcock’s Rope any better for making it look like it was one take? Not really, sure it was a gimmick and an experiment that wound up working well and because of this the movie didn’t suffer. But is that why it’s considered a classic, certainly not, it’s the plot, characters, acting and overall tone of the movie that made it one. Like in a jazz improvisation one has to be ready for the experiment not to work. It happens, you move on, try not to do it again, but instead find what was wrong and build on it or deem it a misguided venture and abandon it. We should not be handing out praise for failed experiments like this, ideas are nice but it’s the execution that deserves the real load of praise. In this sense Boyhood is getting a trophy when it should be handed a participant ribbon.
Another problem I have with praise for this “revolutionary” gimmick is that it isn’t very original. If films are innovative they deserve praise for being so, but why praise a film for something we’ve seen hundreds of times before? There are documentary pieces such as the Up series or Hoop Dreams that follow the same people for years, and in Up’s case several times longer than in Boyhood. But Boyhood isn’t a documentary; instead it’s actors playing the same roles over many years so you watch them grow along with the character. But is that any different from Truffaut’s The Adventures of Antoine Doinel series of movies? It’s the same boy actor playing the same part in five films over twenty years. Now there are examples of films that have used this same gimmick and more effectively so. What about other examples? Outside of feature films there is literally every live action television show that was ever on the air for multiple years. spoiler
The filmmaking isn’t even anything special. Cinematically it has nothing going against it but nothing going for it either. It’s like celery, what’s to complain about? But what’s to laud? There aren’t any beautiful shots or interesting imagery, it remains plain and dull. The music doesn’t add anything it simply floats there waiting to remind you what year of the 2000’s they’re in with a contemporary pop song. Ethan Hawke gives the best performance out of any of the players and when others interact with him it makes this starkly obvious. Patricia Arquette seems to improve her acting over the years but the same can’t be said for the mediocre acting of Mason and his various friends and acquaintances. Maybe the poor dialogue is to blame as interaction between the child actors or the child and adult actors seems over the top and out of touch. Whether it’s the mother screaming profanities at her six year olds or youths telling each other “tru dat”, the conversation is lacking in any shred of realism.
I find one of the biggest failures of the movie to be the complete unreliability of the main character, Mason. He should have been easy for me to relate to. We are about the same age and thus went through the same things at the same time and these experiences are still fresh in my mind. There are many differences between Mason and myself;spoiler But none of that should matter when it comes to relating to him, a good film should have relatable characters especially the main one. If I can relate to well crafter characters like King Kong or Luke Skywalker then it shouldn’t be too much to ask to make a boy who isn’t a thirty foot ape or a magic space samurai relatable. The only thing I found enjoyable in the film was the nostalgia of seeing all the games and fads that were around during my own boyhood. But Mason and his friends quickly become parodies of the time as they succumb to every last fad or fashion trend possible. Had Boyhood been set in the seventies we would have seen Mason wearing a white disco suit and afro to high school.
The film I thought Boyhood was somewhat similar to was Tree of Life. They both focus on young boys growing up and their relationships with their families and they are both told in an unusual, or supposedly unusual, way. The big difference here is that everything that made Tree of Life unique, interesting or thought provoking was stripped away to create Boyhood. Tree of Life uses imagery, cinematic and narrative styles as well as all the other elements I have pointed out that are lacking in Boyhood to create an interesting film. I will make it clear that I believe Tree of Life has its flaws and isn’t a perfect movie but just a similar one that shows how elements can be used effectively to create something worthwhile to watch. In the same ways, Boyhood is dissimilar to 400 Blows, the emotion and visuals in that film help the story blossom while the lack of these elements hampers Boyhood from making any impact on the viewer.
Overall, depending how you look at it Boyhood is a bland watered down attempt at a powerful life-changing drama or a great representation of nihilism. On the surface it’s a failed experiment but when you dig deep down underneath is a genuine philosophical statement that binds the otherwise disparate segments. For this reason it is difficult for me to give it a rating. It is not always important what the creator had in mind for their art and the fun of art is that you can apply your own meaning to it. If it was in fact intended to be a concentration in nihilism I commend it for its ability to bring that doctrine to life, on the other hand I am disappointed that it was made in a way in which it masqueraded itself as an ineffective, aimless drama. If you are searching for a fun, thrilling or moving picture this is one to skip, but if you want to explore the meaningless of life through the vehicle of a young boy then this is the one for you. The three hour runtime is exhausting as the nihilist message of the film is very slow burning and only once it draws to the end and the picture is complete can you stand back and see what Boyhood was truly about. Unfortunately with either frame Boyhood is a grueling experience that wears the viewer down as narrative is continually withheld until it plunges into a nihilistic darkness, Boyhood is a challenge and one that I would have rather not taken on.

9 years 7 months ago
americanadian25's avatar


Here's my review of Boyhood.
9 years 7 months ago

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