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Boyhood

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:46 pm
by Jamie Renton
Things didn't start well. Richard Linklater's much hyped new film opens with (there's no nice way of saying this) Coldplay on the soundtrack.

I'd had my doubts beforehand anyway. A near three hour film where the only plot (as far as I could tell) was a boy growing up in suburban Texas, filmed a few days at a time over 12 years. Would my mind wander? my bum go numb? would I stay awake?

Then I met the central character, Mason (Ellar Coltrane), six years old when we first encounter him, dreamy, gently questioning of authority, trying his best to cope with whatever life throws his way (divorced parents, a right madam of an older sister, being forced to up sticks whenever he starts to feel settled somewhere) and I was hooked.

This is an intimate film, we get to know the family and drop in on them annually to see what's changed and what hasn't. There are impressive performances, Coltrane's especially, but also Ethan Hawke as the feckless immature charmer of a dad and Patricia Arquette's determined, put-upon mum. And the film does a lot of things very well without making a song and dance about it. The shifts in time that you first don't notice, the conversations where the important stuff is left hanging in the air.

It's not perfect; a couple of scenes outstay their welcome and some characters sail close to stereotype (not just one, but two drunken stepfathers) but when it finished, after 165 minutes and with Mason now 18, newly arrived at college and tripping on magic mushrooms, I was left wanting more, which was the last thing I'd expected.

Re: Boyhood

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:07 pm
by NormanD
Jamie Renton wrote:...Mason now 18, newly arrived at college and tripping on magic mushrooms....
Was he listening to Gentle Giant? If so, which track?

Thanks for the review, Jamie. I've wondered about this film, especially after reading the 5-star evaluation it got in my fave daily paper.

Re: Boyhood

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:49 pm
by Jamie Renton
NormanD wrote:Was he listening to Gentle Giant? If so, which track?


Neither Gentle Giant nor Coldplay I'm glad to say. Just some plaintive jangly guitar US indie.

Just realised I gave away the ending. Although you can be reassured, that it's not really that kind of film

Re: Boyhood

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:20 pm
by john poole
I did find myself checking my watch more than a few times during the 165 minutes, occasionally thinking that it was kind of like watching excerpts from a long running soap opera, but there was a lot to like too, and it was certainly well worth seeing, even if I think that the 5 star reviews have tended to be a little on the over-enthusiastic side (and for me the film could have ended when he left home).

Re: Boyhood

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:43 pm
by Adam Blake
Watched it on the plane coming back from N.Cal. Perfect movie for such an occasion but I love films like this anyway. Three hours of Real Life where not much actually happens? I'm riveted.

(Didn't like Ethan Hawke's character's take on The Beatles, though, Garth. Putting a bunch of OK-to-good solo records together doesn't make an ersatz Beatle album, I am afraid. But it was nice to see someone try it.)