Top 365 Films – #114 – Boyhood (2014)


Top 365 Films - BoyhoodDIRECTED BY: Richard Linklater

STARRING: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Libby Villari, Marco Perella, Jamie Howard, Andrew Villarreal, Brad Hawkins, Jenni Tooley, Richard Andrew Jones, Karen Jones, Bill Wise, Zoe Graham, Charlie Sexton, Barbara Chisholm, Cassidy Johnson, Richard Robichaux, Steven Chester Prince, Tom McTigue, Will Harris, Andrea Chen, Maximillian McNamara, Taylor Weaver and Jessi Mechler

BUDGET: $4m

EARNED (Worldwide): $44.5m

AWARDS: 1 Oscar (Best Supporting Actress), 3 Golden Globes (Best Picture Drama, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress) and 3 BAFTAs (Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress)

 

SYNOPSIS

The life of Mason, from early childhood to his arrival at college.

 

Mason lives with this mother and his sister Samantha, while his father Mason Sr. is still around but him and his mother aren’t together. Through the years we watch this family change dynamic with new partners for the parents and the stories that go with it unfold through the eyes of Mason and also how these moments and milestones affect him.

 

There probably hasn’t been a film that has been so verbally branded with the title of ‘overrated’ as much as Boyhood has in the last year but even on the novelty of this project taking on a span of twelve years to make (which often brings up moans when people use this as a line to defend the film) it still effects me on multiple viewings the same way the first viewing did. It’s true that there’s no general outline of a plot here to take you from A to B other than we just follow Mason on this simple journey of life that’s organically done as we get simple moments and milestones in his life that could be utterly meaningless or they could mean everything into building the foundations of the character to grow upon later in his life, which brings to the forefront in the films final act when you still try to figure out lives answers while it throws harder curveballs at you that it’s a testament to what Linklater has brought to the table this experimental film that lasts close to the three hour mark (right?) that by the last second glance from Mason to the camera (blink and you’ll miss it) that I feel sad that I won’t get to see where Mason’s journey goes next. Ellar Coltrane is fine in the title role of Mason but the film works best with the performances of the Mom and Dad played by Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, with Arquette you see her struggle with maintaining relationships whilst raising her two children which leads to life intimating art in the scene where Mason is finally packing his things for College while Hawke is more of in the background yet we see the evolution/maturity of his character as the film progresses. Boyhood will never be one of those ultimate crowd pleaser films but for me it struck a chord. and hooked me in.

 

 

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: Masons turns to his father for advice on a recent breakup and ultimately feels unsatisfied with his answer, he wants more. It’s the honesty of the conversation of how his father is still ‘winging it’ as there’s no real definitive answers is a scene that somehow still sticks with me.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Mom: You know what I’m realising? My life is just going to go. Like that. This series of milestones. Getting married. Having kids. Getting divorced. The time that we thought you were dyslexic. When I taught you how to ride a bike. Getting divorced… again. Getting my masters degree. Finally getting the job I wanted. Sending Samantha off to college. Sending you off to college. You know what’s next? Huh? It’s my fucking funeral! Just go, and leave my picture!

Mason: Aren’t you jumping ahead by, like, 40 years or something?

Mom: I just thought there would be more.’

DID YOU KNOW?: Richard Linklater cast his daughter Lorelei Linklater as Samantha because she was always singing and dancing around the house and wanted to be in his movies. At about the third or fourth year of filming, she lost interest and asked for her character to be killed off. Linklater refused, saying it was too violent for what he was planning (Lorelei eventually regained her enthusiasm and continued with the project).

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