Quick Movie Review: Boyhood (2014)

What I just got through watching was one of the most unique films I had ever seen. For those of you who are unaware, the process of filming this movie was 12 years in the making. It used the same actors to play the same characters and the sad thing is that about 5 or 6 years ago I had actually thought of doing something like this without any knowledge that Boyhood was in the process.

I was so excited going into this movie and was ready for a phenomenon. I won’t say that I didn’t get that, but let’s just say that the expectations slightly overshadowed the film itself. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great film and I could talk for days about it, but I wanted a little more. At times it felt as though the plot was unfolding along with the filming. Many themes could not have been realized way back in 2002. It makes some really great points and unveils them well, but that wasn’t the issue. There are two things that I wanted more from this movie. Number 1 is better acting. Besides Ethan Hawke–who was brilliant–the acting was average or below. Number 2 is that it was tough for me to attach myself, or to even like the main character, Mason. He was kind of a dick at times. I felt more for his father than I did for him. I mean, yeah, he came from a screwed up household but he was so arrogant and self-righteous that it was hard to see through all of that. 

It may sound like I hated this movie but I really didn’t. I actually liked it a lot! I love how you can see the change in filmmaking between 2002 and 2013. I like how different characters came in and out of the movie just as it happens in real life–where people are present and seemingly important at the time, but in the grand scheme of things they turn out only to be referred to years later. But this doesn’t discredit their important–yet subtle influence on who you come to be. 

The narrative was the part of this movie that I loved the most. It had no real 3 act structure. There was no climax and they didn’t harp on any one event for too long. And when it ends, it doesn’t feel finished. But it won’t ever feel finished. Just like real life. 

This didn’t feel like a film at times, and at a near 3 hour runtime it didn’t feel tiring. I wanted to see what happens next in Mason’s life. Although I wasn’t necessarily attached, I was invested in the story. 

Although Mason could be kind of a dick at times, you never wondered why he was like that. You still see how, although we’d just witnessed 12 years of his existence, he still has a lot to learn about life.

I encourage others in the future to use this process as well. I hope that this is not the last film made in this way. There’s so many ways to use this concept. I’ll be waiting for Manhood.

Twizard Rating: 91

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