Sometimes I walk out of a movie, like the ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ and go “WOW.” Most of the time I straighten out my legs, stand up and sigh, “Oh, well.” Then there was my surprise reaction to last year’s SDFF Starz Denver Film Festival Belgian movie, “Broken Circle Breakdown.” When the movie was over and without warning, I broke into sobs. Then I pulled myself together to get out of the theater and cried all the way home in my car. Last night I walked out of the movie, ‘Boyhood‘ and simply went, “Ah.” I didn’t want to leave and I wanted to hug everyone in the movie. It felt really good.
Richard Linklater‘s newest creation (director of Dazed & Confused, 1993) has taken film to a new moment with Boyhood. The story line is about family. The who & what characteristics of a family and how time marks its growth. The fictional drama (as it is being called) is infiltrated with overwhelming, engaging elements of reality. Ultimately gifting the audience with real-time changes (braces, baby fat, long hair, short hair) of the entire cast. Filmed for several days each year over a twelve year period the audience becomes totally mesmerized with the characters. There’s only one you’ll really hate and I’ll let you figure that out. The son, (Mason) Ellar Coltrane, is the obvious break-out star of this epic reality drama who is so endearing and interesting, even at six years old, you hope and pray throughout the movie that he is always ok. His sister Lorelie Linklater (Samantha) is the quintessential ‘it’ little girl. She’s the tiny, sassy Britney Spears brat-fan of 14 years ago and, before our very eyes grows into a beautiful young college student. Mother, Patricia Arquette and father, Ethan Hawke, are equally compelling. They masterfully depict ongoing, every day life everyone can identify with at some age and period of adulthood and parenting. Boyhood proves that they are two of the best actors of our time and definitely adept at being in the moment.
Filmed in Texas, where director Linklater lives, the movie reverberates with memories. Anyone who has ever gone to school there, lived there or visited Houston or Austin enough, will feel instantly at home and a little homesick. You even get to peek inside The Continental Club and Antone’s, Austin’s still hottest spots. Linklater knows what’s important to a Texan.
I would love to go on & on about this masterpiece. But, you need to see it. You will leave the theater reluctantly, but visually and emotionally content. Orson Welles had his ‘Citizen Kane.’ This is the era of Richard Linklater.
I sort of dread the for certain, poor copycat ‘fictional dramas’ that will surely follow but more of this good fictional drama is something to look forward to. I am hoping it will evolve into other wonderful dramas that satisfy as this one did. But for this movie season, it’s ‘Boyhood,’ the movie. It will remain a work of art throughout movie history.
It’s playing at The Mayan Theater on Broadway.