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Rick Kitchen

Boyhood (2014)

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I finally got a chance to see this film, and I'm glad I did.  It has problems (mainly the total lack of a plot and one of those "that's it?" endings), but Linklater sooo lucked out in Ellar Coltrane.  And Patricia Arquette was awesome.

 

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I appreciated the groundbreaking nature of the movie; I don't think we've ever seen a film where a child literally grows up before our eyes. I wish it had stayed with the younger Mason a bit longer. Adolescent rites of passage (drinking, having sex, philosophizing) always seem deja vu to me. The film could have ended about fifteen minutes sooner, with Mason driving off to college.

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I actually really liked the ending: he says something about time which is kind of the point of the movie and kind of the complete bullshit that college freshmen say about things like that, they kind of laugh at how dumb it is but also not really, fade to black.

This is the first movie in a long long time I've seen twice in theaters; kind of considering a third time.

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I think Linklater wanted the last scene because of the discussion about the importance of every point in time, or whatever it was they were talking about.

I got that; I just think some of the other teen-angst stuff could have been shortened.

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I just watched it too, and really enjoyed it.

 

I was taken with the Mom's journey as much as Mason's.  I hope she found some true happiness of her own after the film fades to black.

 

 

but Linklater sooo lucked out in Ellar Coltrane.

 

I'll say.   He really held the whole thing together.  And it's kinda amazing he grew up to look so much like a young Ethan Hawke.

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I'll say.   He really held the whole thing together.  And it's kinda amazing he grew up to look so much like a young Ethan Hawke.

 

        It's pretty incredible- you really can't predict how little kids will grow up, and he really did grow up to look like he could really be Ethan's son. Given that Ethan Hawke isn't a cookie-cutter looking guy, it's pretty incredible. Just by looks alone I completely buy him as someone that Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke could have produced.

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And it's kinda amazing he grew up to look so much like a young Ethan Hawke.

By the end, Ellar looked exactly like Ethan Hawke circa Reality Bites.

 

I finally got around to watching this (right in time for their big wins at the Golden Globes) and really enjoyed it. I definitely preferred the younger years, simply because I thought they were telling a more interesting story about family dynamics, and the nostalgia of all the little pop culture clues like the music and the Harry Potter release and the 20 Questions ball and the rip stick -- it was a reminder that this movie was a living time capsule over the last 12 years. I do think the teen-angst years dragged a bit and got sort of repetitive, but I do appreciate that they didn't pick the cliche milestones, rather moments after. We didn't see him take his first sip of beer, or have sex for the first time, and when he breaks up with his girlfriend, we only see the distant aftermath. 

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I really enjoyed this movie. I like the little slices of life story telling. Life isn't all big moments and often what truly defines a person is the little stuff, so I really liked it. Also, what a creative, awesome idea to use the same cast over the years. I also loved the music. I felt like they were just playing my iTunes music library over the background of this movie.

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This is my movie of the year. I absolutely adore it. As a mom to two young boys, Patricia Arquette's last moment in the film really hit home for me.

Loved that it showed little slices of life, not big moments, but the breaths in between. And yes, it's amazing how much like Ethan Hawke Ellar ending up looking.

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I finally got around to seeing it- I have a niece who's Ellar's age, and it felt like a time capsule for her generation- those kids born in the mid/late '90's. The Harry Potter moment just made me smile, as did Samantha singing "Opps, I Did It Again". I had a fun game of "guess the year" when it came to watching the movie.

 

I did roll my eyes hard though when they got to Mr. Veteran also being an alcoholic. My god, could they have avoided such an obvious cliche? LOL. I think it might have been better if Patricia's character actually wound up wrecking the relationship instead, because she can't handle being with a good guy. I get that her theme is being in disastrous relationships, but there was another way to do it.

 

 

Loved that it showed little slices of life, not big moments, but the breaths in between. And yes, it's amazing how much like Ethan Hawke Ellar ending up looking.

 

They're lucky the kid turned out good-looking. I wonder what they would have done if Ellar had wound up an ugly teenager. That can and does happen with kids who were cute when they were little. See: Ryan Cooley on Degrassi. Poor guy. I thought he was going to wind up hot and he so didn't.

 

Mason really reminded me of the artist guys I went to high school with. I loved that he didn't turn out to be some jock type.

Edited by methodwriter85

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I don't think looks are as important as a good heart, intelligence and other intangibles, but I thought Ellar Coltrane was kind of an ugly teenager.  

 

I still loved the movie; and while I almost halfway agree with the cliche-worthiness of the veteran husband plot line, that stuff does happen. My bad-guy/cliche radar actually went off with the professor husband; don't know if it was clunky writing, or if the actor somehow imbued the character with a sense of menace simmering just below the surface.  (I look forward to rewatching one of these days, and I reserve the right to change my mind with future viewings.)

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I did roll my eyes hard though when they got to Mr. Veteran also being an alcoholic. My god, could they have avoided such an obvious cliche? LOL. I think it might have been better if Patricia's character actually wound up wrecking the relationship instead, because she can't handle being with a good guy. I get that her theme is being in disastrous relationships, but there was another way to do it.

 

All of the men in her life were alcoholics, so the veteran being a drunk wasn't because he was a veteran, but because he was the type she hooked up with.

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I actually really liked the ending: he says something about time which is kind of the point of the movie and kind of the complete bullshit that college freshmen say about things like that, they kind of laugh at how dumb it is but also not really, fade to black.

 

And see, I didn't view it that way. He had previously talked about that sort of stuff but none of his peers did. Then, on his first day of college, he meets a girl who spews the same kind of thoughts. I figured this was a callback to his art teacher (? the older lady who spoke to him about his future when he was taking down his silver medal winning photos from a display) who said that she much preferred college to high school and that he would find "his" people there.

 

I really enjoyed this movie, which surprised me because - and I mean this respectfully - nothing really happened. There was no "event" or big moment...it was just us following this boy's life for 12 years. And it's amazing how much story there is to tell when nothing particularly noteworthy happens in a life.

 

I too was blown away by how much the young actor resembled Ethan Hawke; that was incredible.

 

I appreciated the daughter asking what would happen to the two kids of the abusive professor; I was thinking about them too. What a crappy situation. I felt so bad for them that they were left behind with this douchebag while our main three were able to escape.

 

For such a simple story, I found myself fully engaged and am very impressed with its scope and the commitment of all involved. I'd love to get more information about the process of making this. I mean, what if the young star didn't want to keep doing the movie? What would have happened? Surely an 8 year old or whatever couldn't have been legally compelled to sign a 12 year contract...

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I'd love to get more information about the process of making this. I mean, what if the young star didn't want to keep doing the movie? What would have happened? Surely an 8 year old or whatever couldn't have been legally compelled to sign a 12 year contract...

None of them could sign a contract, including Arquette and Hawke-it's illegal to contract someone more than 7 years (The De Havilland Law). They just agreed to keep coming back. Apparently the only actor that got tired of doing it was Lorelei Linklater and she suggested that her character be killed off-obviously her father refused.

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It was pretty obvious Lorelai checked out of it by the time we got to her being in high school. Richard gave her progressively less and less to do, probably at her request.

 

Did they film Mason's graduation in 2012 and then him going off to college in 2013? He really did look older in those final scenes, compared to the previous graduation stuff. I liked the symbolism.

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I finally saw the film. It was no, doubt, a monumental achievement to successfully put this together, considering all the things that could have gone wrong, and it was an experience to see these kids growing up (and even watching the parents age). But I do think the writing and story didn't have a whole lot else going for it. Maybe it's that my own experience growing up was so atypical, but I just didn't connect that much with the story or the character. I remember a friend talking about Linklater's "Dazed and Confused", saying "this is everyone's high school story"... and I thought in response, "not mine"... but I still connected with the story and characters of that film.  If Boyhood had been a novel, or a movie without the spectacle of watching the children grow up, it wouldn't be a great one... Mason never has to overcome any kind of obstacle or triumph over adversity the way most characters do in a story. I can understand why the film is different that way. It was written as time went along, and they could never really know if these kids would mature as actors. I don't think Linklater wanted to test their acting chops much. The most challenging scene was probably the one with the asshole drunk stepfather, and in that case the kids just had to react to an adult actor being menacing. Most of the adversity is on the shoulders of Patricia Arquette's character. But she's still a supporting character in the film.

 

That all being said, in no way am I devaluing the triumph of what was done here. It does have tremendous cinematic value on it's own, the same way "single take" technique in "Birdman" really worked... 

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What an incredible movie and there are so many things that happen that I can relate to. It's fascinating how they have made this over so many years. Definitely one of the best movies of the year so far 10/10

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The first time I saw it, I didn't like it because I was waiting for something monumental to happen, and when it didn't, I felt gypped. The second time, I liked it, because I knew something monumental wasn't going to happen, so I could really focus on the acting and all the little idiosyncrasies of life that we rarely take note of.  The third time, I LOVED it, because every single scene drew me in even deeper than the first two times I watched it, especially the block between his childhood years through her marriage to the abusive, alcoholic professor.

 

That being said, one thing I couldn't understand is why there was not one Christmas scene.  Christmas is a huge part of growing up (it's the most wonderful time..of the year!).  But, I'm sure there's a very good reason he didn't include it.

 

Finally, a little factoid that I love.  Patricia Arquette was about 5 to 6 months pregnant in the scene where she goes to the alcoholic professor's house to retrieve her kids.  You can see it in the scene when she walks Mason into his new school and class the next day. I love that Linklater didn't try to hide it, and left us to see it as middle-aged weight gain 'tummy'.

Edited by cherry slushie

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What an incredible movie and there are so many things that happen that I can relate to. It's fascinating how they have made this over so many years. Definitely one of the best movies of the year so far 10/10

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