So I may not be your ideal source for a solid review of director Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, for the obvious reasons...
I don’t think like a boy. I don’t act like one. I haven't been bullied or beaten up. I haven’t endured growing up with annoying older sisters who sang all day as if life was a never ending music video.
I am not a boy.
But this doesn’t mean I don't have an appreciation for them.
Some may think a gal like me would have little to contribute on Boyhood, or any such films for that matter. (Lord knows how I've been adored and praised for my opinions of male dominated, father-son themed films in the past.) So I'm not sure why you've tuned in here, but here goes:
Boyhood is not your typical coming-of-age film. It is not your typical film. What Linklater has created is an experiment, a real gamble, to carry and entertain an audience through one boy’s childhood in real time.
Through a 12 year journey Boyhood follows the childhood of Mason in Austin, Texas, from age 5 to 18. For some of us (like myself) journeying with Boyhood may be best appreciated if prepped with the appropriate expectations. And the journey is a lengthy one - 2 hours and 45 minutes to be exact.
Boyhood may not be the “most ingenious film of the century”, as it’s been hailed by many. But certainly it is the most experimental film of the century, if not the most nostalgic. With such subtlety sentiments it hits close to home many times. Maybe too close to home to be particularly compelling or riveting.
The film opens playing Coldplay’s Green Eyes, an introduction which exudes with a nostalgic normalcy that carries throughout the film. (I never thought Coldplay and nostalgic would fit in the same sentence, but here the two fit like a glove.) Afternoons bowling. Sears catalogs. Harry Potter parties. Many things in Boyhood portrayed with past sentiments, feel too recent to be "of the past," but without a doubt, they are. If anything Linklater's experiment has captured the true coming-of-age journey of the Millennials.
Boyhood has no real climax and no defining moment, per se, but every year of Mason’s life feels reminiscent for anyone of us whose experienced a childhood of the 90's. It may just be what makes the 2 hours and 45 minutes feel a tad longer than 3 hours. Yet if Linklater’s goal was to depict an honest reflection of the stages so many boys experienced through these decades, in that, along with any cast that could commit to a 12-year project, Boyhood is a great accomplishment. Only it may have been one I would have appreciated more spending $1.50 for at Redbox, rather than $10 and unfulfilled cinematic hopes.
But who am I to say. If I had had a Boyhood of my own, this review may be entirely different.
Ironically Boyhood is the first film I’ve been asked to join a podcast to review. Last week I had a blast joining the guys over at Cinereelist for their weekly movie review! And, despite my opposing review of the film, they were kind enough to invite me back for their Movie Trivia episode (which is just slightly intimidating when the individuals coordinating these episodes have more board games and movies, than I have clothes in my closet).
Thanks again Cinereelist! You may be receiving a movie suggestion list from me soon, to pick up the slack on all your chick flick movie knowledge.