I scream in delight when I heard about this movie. It’s no surprise that I’m a huge, huge fan of Richard Linklater and the “Before” trilogy; in fact they are my most favourite movies of all time.
I remember being younger and so in love with Before Sunrise and Before Sunset that I had to make sure I made the guys I was currently dating watch (and love) them too. Somehow I wanted them to share the same deep emotional thoughts and wavelength that made me love these movies so much.
(No wonder those relationship never lasted. Ha!)
The genre is so unique; it’s whether you love it, or you hate it. You either would fall deeply in love with it (like me), or find it super boring and when you just don’t appreciate this type of deep conversation and relate able characters and pure emotions without exaggerating, special effects, all those Hollywood blah. My friend J is one of them.
In fact, now he admitted of finding it so boring that he almost fell to his death while watching it, but maintained his composure because
I threatened him he wanted to impress me (so he said now). I probably had scarred him for life.
Anyway, I’m getting off track now. Let’s get back to the point: Boyhood. Yes, so this is Richard Linklater’s new movie and if you have been living in cave, I’m sure you’ve heard a huge buzz around; this being the only movie who took a spam of 12 years to film. It has also won a lot of awards (Golden Globes recently) and nominated for Oscars for more, including Best Picture and Best Director!
I missed seeing it in the cinema here, but I got lucky because the film was on the in-flight entertainment on my flight to Brisbane en route to New Zealand! So I spent almost 3 hours just indulging in this cinematic pleasure that brought back so much feelings and happiness (really similar feelings I have whenever I watch Before trilogy.)
My quickie review? It’s an honest, real representation of a boy growing up in a family when like, all families, it’s not always paradise. They overcome struggles and tears (divorce, alcoholic abusive dad, bullying at school, etc) but importantly also share the good times and, more importantly, how they stay together as a family despite their shortcomings.
I love, love, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke in this. They make it flawlessly real and I can really feel Patricia’s character’s struggles being a single mom and doing the things she does. I love her! And as for Ethan Hawke, he’s brilliant as expected, not that I ever doubted it.
Some of my favourite conversation from the movie:
Mason: Dad, there’s no real magic in the world, right?
Dad: What do you mean?
Mason: You know, like elves and stuff. People just made that up.
Dad: Oh, I don’t know. I mean, what makes you think that elves are any more magical than something like a whale? You know what I mean? What if I told you a story about how underneath the ocean, there was this giant sea mammal that used sonar and sang songs and it was so big that its heart was the size of a car and you could crawl through the arteries? I mean, you’d think that was pretty magical, right?
Mom: [Mason is leaving for college] This is the worst day of my life.
Mason: What are you talking about?
Mom: [Starts crying] I knew this day was coming. I just… I didn’t know you were going to be so fucking happy to be leaving.
Mason: I mean it’s not that I’m that happy… what do you expect?
Mom: You know what I’m realising? My life is just going to go. Like that. This series of milestones. Getting married. Having kids. Getting divorced. The time that we thought you were dyslexic. When I taught you how to ride a bike. Getting divorced… again. Getting my masters degree. Finally getting the job I wanted. Sending Samantha off to college. Sending you off to college. You know what’s next? Huh? It’s my fucking funeral! Just go, and leave my picture!
Mason: Aren’t you jumping ahead by, like, 40 years or something?
Mom: I just thought there would be more..
The pace of the movie is slow; I found myself enjoying the first part of the film more than the last half, but overall I really enjoyed this journey. It’s amazing seeing Mason (the main boy’s character) grow up and see how he transforms to a young man and I think that’s what happens to us: we get confused, distracted, frustrated sometimes at our lives. We act out, rebel as a teenager, but his mom is such a strong figure in his life that no matter what live throws at him, I feel that his mom can always keep him grounded.
You care so much about this family because you literally grow up with them. And I think this is the point of this crazy idea of shooting over the spam of 12 years. Anybody who watches it would relate so much to this person and this family.
Overall, I would recommend everyone to watch this! There are a lot of things I love about this film, and I found myself smiling and crying with them, and I think that says a lot when a film can make you feel that way.