Boyhood (2014)

By on February 17, 2015
Boyhood (2014)

Run time: 165 min
Rating: 8.2
Genres: Drama
Director: Richard Linklater
Writers: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke
Trivia: The life of a young man, Mason, from age 5 to age 18.
Storyline
Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay’s Yellow to Arcade Fire’s Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. Written by IFC Films
Plot Keywords: coming of age, domestic abuse, 12 year time span, separated parents, abusive husband
Details:
Country: USA
Release Date: 15 August 2014 (USA)
Box Office
Budget: $4,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $387,618 (USA) (11 July 2014)
Gross: $25,139,641 (USA) (6 February 2015)

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4 Comments

  1. cherrybomb

    February 17, 2015 at 7:24 am

    BOYHOOD…What a great movie! I simply believe in America again! They are also humans, guys, trust me:) Its obviously doesn't matter if you are an American, German or Russian. There are the same problems, the same ways, the same love inside us. As a Russian I must say I understand American people and also myself much much better with this movie. It was like… about me… I just COULD NOT imagine how much we are all the same.. Just love it! If I look at my childhood in the former USSR I see not much difference, the cars and houses are different, we spoke Russian, but that feeling, that pulse of life, that sometimes "lost" fathers and mothers to solve every day problems, fighting for the existence and good life for the children are so familiar to me.. That long hair and piercing.. Oh boy, its all so much alike. And those "Paul was greater than the others…". The movie is just breathing, its a three hours of fresh air!

    I do not want to say much about the qualities of the movie.. It is overall brilliant. I do believe, this will be a classical film, and students all over thew world will study it in future at their film schools. P.S. Sorry for my poor English.

  2. nolanjackson

    February 17, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Seldom has there been a film where the critic's opinions and its true quality diverge so seriously. "Boyhood" is empty because it lacks content and form. It celebrates the ordinary and mediocrity instead of aiming at something extraordinary. As a result, it embraces nothingness and is in that sense deeply nihilistic and even depressing. Anybody with the same camera and some actors could have made this movie or (more likely) a better one.

    Those who praise the film always point out the same circumstance (the only thing they can say) which is: This film is like "real life". I have to say: This is true (on the most superficial level imaginable). But I may ask: Is that a good thing? Is this, if film history has taught us anything, what a film should be? "Real life", according to Linklater, means a lifespan during which nothing happens. The Boyhood-experience is the equivalent of your experience waiting in line at the supermarket. Yes, this is the "real life" Linklater presents us. NOTHING HAPPENS IN THIS MOVIE! Nothing, no story, no interesting characters, just ordinary situations from "real life". Of course, there are films in which nothing or very little happens and they can be great (Tarkovsky's "Mirror", Antonioni's "L'avventura" or Tarr's "The Turin Horse" come to my mind), but you need ideas (you got that, Linklater?), you need a style or form which cannot be separated from the content, you need a capable director that can create a form of visual communication. Boyhood offers none of those things. The film gets praised especially by those who have never seen an art-house movie and mistake it for an art film. People are misled so easily. Boyhood is pure blankness, shallowness, superficiality, nothingness.

    To praise Boyhood as a masterpiece is actually a slap in the face of all those directors who put a real effort into creating works of art that have real value.

    Boyhood is in fact an anti-film in the sense that it stands against everything film should be – be it an artistic masterpiece or just an entertaining, fun movie. The film is neither a work of art nor entertaining. In that regard it can be called a non-film. It celebrates its own non-existence and drowns in its nihilism. I doubt this was Linklater's intention but it certainly is the result of what he created.

    Be warned: This is NOT a drama. The movie is the opposite of a carefully constructed work of art. It's nothing but a re-enactment of memories, a collection of unmeaning scenes we may or may not know from our own lives (bowling, playing video games, reading Harry Potter etc.). I think it is only fair to ask: What is the point? I went to see this film having high hopes and (having read all the raving reviews) expecting a masterpiece from Richard Linklater, the director of the great "Waking Life". I liked the trailer which makes the movie look much more interesting than it actually is (actually, everything that "happens" in the movie is already in the trailer!). The basic idea of filming a boy growing into a young man during twelve years is interesting, yes, but sadly the film offers nothing more than that. This is not enough! Sadly, many critics seem to have liked the basic idea so much that to them it didn't even matter if the director would be able to make it interesting or not.

    The film which is much too long follows an unstable family and focuses on the life of Mason, a character that has absolutely no interesting characteristics whatsoever. The intelligent viewer will be unable to connect with such a person. Mason walks through this film as if he was in a coma or half asleep; he has no ambitions. At some point he gets his first kiss, gets interested in photography (the ultimate art form for unimaginative lazy people) during high school (haven't we seen that already too many times?), goes to college at which point the film ends. I kid you not, this is the whole movie. The mother becomes a teacher at a local college and always seems to attract the wrong guys. The father is an unemployed loser who only talks about pop music and ends up being a square. Mason's sister (the director's daughter) grows up too and that's pretty much all you can say about her.

    It is actually impossible to spoil this film because nothing happens (unless you consider the fact that Mason finishes high school a spoiler). Linklater completely fails to dramatize his ideas. As a result, following this movie feels like watching family home videos of a family you do not care about – just with better picture quality.

    Instead of using form (or content/drama) to make the film interesting, "Boyhood" refuses to do just that and therefore remains superficial.

    You don't get to the essence of "real life" by only showing the surface of things. Everybody could do that!

    It is really hard talking about this film because there isn't a single interesting character or scene in it. You just follow ordinary events in the lives of these people. Stay away from this movie!

    Yes, this review will get negative votes, just because I didn't like the film, unlike the critic's union. Well, none of those "critics" were able to offer a single insightful argument that would speak for this non-movie. In fact, many even admitted the film lacked interesting characters or style! But because of the 12-year-gimmik, they call it a "masterpiece". Give me a break. I would be willing to debate any of these pseudo-intelligent "critics" and tear them into pieces. Over and out.

  3. jarvismethis

    February 17, 2015 at 7:24 am

    This is the Emperor's New Clothes all over again. The movie runs two hours and 45 minutes to cover 12 years, and believe me, it seems like 12 years. There is nothing of interest in the film. It is about nothing. Nothing happens, except children grow up, parents grow up, children make friends, parents marry again and again. No drama, no humor, no sadness, no happiness.

    Just boring people leading boring lives, and the gimmick of using real children and filming them at yearly intervals to show how they grow, is just that, a gimmick. The boy of the title is a slacker, seeking meaning by doing nothing. Save your money, and more important, save your three hours and see another movie, any other movie.

  4. thegeekgurl

    February 17, 2015 at 7:24 am

    One of the more overrated films lately.

    The good: production, shooting, editing, sound — were all good.

    The great: the idea of following the same boy and others for 11 years. Transitions from age to age were beautiful.

    The tiresome: the acting. It was OK, but nothing that grabs you. Ellar Coltrane was at his acting best when he was young, but gradually got more stilted. This could have been due to the director more than to him.

    The ugly: The script. Existential drivel, over and over. Every character was written in a way that remained two-dimensional, especially his sister and mother. Ethan Hawke as his father did the best job of any of them in bringing some depth of life to his role.

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