Life is gritty, it is messy and mistakes happen often. There are no
‘easy’ paths to take nor do you expect things to always fall into place
in the real world. The film, “Boyhood,” which tackles reality of life in
relationships and many dimensions of everyday families has been
well received. You may have heard that Richard Linklater wrote and
directed this original screenplay. Instead of using different actors to
portray time passing and people aging, he used the unique process of
gathering all the same people together to make this film, year after
year. It took twelve years to make, “Boyhood.”
The beginning of each school year is carefully documented with
the different locations the family has moved to, along with the
ever changing wide variety of characters in each segment.
Two children who share the story’s childhood are played by his
daughter, Lorelei Linklater and newcomer, Ellar Coltrane. The
reoccurring character roles for a period of twelve years. You see
Lorelei acting like Britney Spears in her famous song, “I’m Not
That Innocent.” The adults who portray their parents are played
by Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. This endearing movie just
may possibly win the 87th Academy Award’s “Best Picture of
Here are some of the themes displayed in this ground-breaking
Finding your passion
Elementary School dynamics
Moving to other homes/schools
High School dynamics
When my good friend, Gary, who writes for a living on the staff
of the “Columbus Dispatch” asked me to let him know what I
thought about the movie, “Boyhood,” I may have responded a
little bit late at night. I wrote him a rather long text about my
feelings about the movie. Overall, I told him, along with my
youngest daughter and my brother, Rich, I would give this a
three * * * rating out of four * * * *.
There are very interesting aspects to this movie, one is how
the mother really tries to help her children lead a successful
life, while still making poor relationship/marriage choices.
Oh boy. This is actually my story being played on the Big
The first husband ends up the ‘best of the lot.’ There are times
you feel he is really ‘on the ball,’ showing he cares by being very
articulate and expressing how much he wants to know his two
children, son and daughter’s thoughts. He engages in a serious
sexual conversation, which did not embarassess me at all. It
was so reminiscent of both my parents it startled me. This is
quite disconcerting, since we are open-minded and say just
about anything, my brothers and both my parents, when my
Dad was alive. My Mom is still a ‘hoot’ because she is about
the most modern woman I know, except possibly Betty White,
who also is above 80 years old. She just turned 90, right?
The sad element of the story is mentioned in my one word
use of “Bullying” in the list of different reoccurring themes in
the movie. Poor Mason, never seems ‘to catch a break.’ His Dad
cares about him, but gets preoccupied with his musical career.
Ethan Hawke does an excellent job singing, having also written
some of the songs they all sing in the movie. He is used as a
scapegoat by his mother’s second husband and is bullied by her
third husband. He manages to get through several of the moves,
jobs and choices by just ‘sliding,’ playing a kind of ‘slacker.’ But
underneath the surface, Mason is the central character you are
rooting for throughout the movie. He is a deep thinker, an artist,
with a camera, a daydreamer, and he makes it to college, winning
a silver medal and scholarship.
Does this encompass too much revealing information? No, I will
reassure you, it is the slow unwinding of the story, as if it were
a book you were reading chapter by chapter. The summary on
the book jacket (or in this film, the DVD case) doesn’t tell you
the whole story.
Will you like it? I hope so.
You will need to set aside time, take breaks and I feel take time
to digest the story. I had to rewind the film since the changes in
his elementary years are NOT designated, “One year later.” You
have to ‘keep up with the film,’ pay attention to how quickly the
girl develops and seems to be a ‘brat’ until she becomes more
confident in her own ability to be independent.
Patricia Arquette is amazing. I felt her world. I felt her needs
and her interests. I felt her ‘weight of the world,’ trying the very
best she could to make wise choices, leaving bad, abusive man
behind. Her mother is well portrayed and the woman that her
first husband gets married to is interesting. Her parents also
come into the story line, making a unique impact on the kids’
When the movie opens, the boy Mason is lying in a yard with green
grass under him and a brilliant blue sky above him. The song which
starts this out is Coldplay’s song, “Yellow.” It is really perfect and
sets the tone for the movie viewer. The soundtrack includes many
famous musicians. I would like to entice you by sharing some of
their names here. As mentioned, original music is introduced in the
movie, too. (Ethan Hawke wrote several songs, one the family all sing.)
Lady Gaga sings two songs, “LoveGame” and “Telephone.” Bob Dylan’s
song is. “Beyond the Horizon.” The Black Keys, Gotye, Foo Fighters,
Kings of Leon, the Beatles and Mason’s father’s (Ethan Hawke’s)
interpretation of their split up. I would like to see his own rendition
of the way the Beatles’ solo careers should be put into one album.
“Crazy” sung by Gnarls Barkley is a fantastic song. Had not heard
this version before. “Deep Blue,” sung by Arcade Fire band, with Ken
Butler and William Butler being part of the group of musicians and
lyricists who wrote the final song played during the credits was
I rewound the final song, with some tears going down my face. It is
a touching story, with all the traits of true storytelling genius. The
way Richard Linklater and his whole crew, team and actors worked
together on this made this an impressive movie. I took note even
the first song being called, “Yellow” and the last song, “Deep Blue,”
seemed like they handled the details perfectly.
The 87th Academy Awards Ceremony will be on tonight. Neil
Patrick Harris will be the host. If you watch television, you
have seen the ‘hype’ for many of the films. I have seen almost
all of the ones in the best picture, actor and actress categories.
If you wish to see my reviews or summaries, I have written of
“The Theory of Everything,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma,”
“Big Hero 6,” “Gone Girl” and “Unbroken.”
I shall be watching it, along with the pre-show Red Carpet on,
Will you be watching?
If so, do you have your any favorites?