BOYHOOD

Director: Richard Linklater

The Mayfair Theatre, August 15 – 28

When prodded for opinion upon exiting the theatre I shrugged and coyly blurted, “Meh”. That was just a bit of fun, as everyone surely knows, Boyhood has been showered with universal acclaim and declared a landmark cinematic masterpiece.

Shot over a twelve-year span with the same cast, Boyhood lets us in on the development of a dough-eyed six-year-old boy, into a dough-eyed eighteen-year-old boy. The actors age in real time right on screen in a clever, fictional nod to the excellent 7 Up (British documentary) series. But is it as totally awesome as the near unanimous salivating reviews suggest? Almost.

The on screen evolution of Mason (the excellent Eller Coltrane) really is a marvel, but we just get snippets every couple of years, punctuated by haircut variations. Interesting plot lines are set up, and often abandoned. Life moves on, and so does the film, leaving plenty of contemplation about time, the journey of life, and capturing moments. Mason’s path is slow and full of hurdles. He can’t wait to grow up. On the other side of the hill, the parents are scrambling to figure life out before it is vanquished. It’s a race in opposite directions. This is a movie almost anyone can relate to, and therein lays the magic.

Boyhood is an astounding achievement that seems way too short for the almost three-hour run time. Shooting every couple of years must have resulted in miles and miles of unused footage just waiting for a Berlin Alexanderplatz – style marathon version. Now that one will be totally awesome.

 

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