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Movie Breakdown: Boyhood

July 16, 2014


People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

The same cast and a 12 year (intermittently, of course) production schedule.  With Boyhood, Richard Linklater presents the ultimate coming of age film.

The Reality:

The last time that a high concept coming of age film came tumbling down upon us it was Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life.  Now, I know a lot of people weren’t a fan of that movie, but I liked it – mostly because I loved the way Malick shot all of the kid’s scenes.  It made me vividly remember what it was like to play outside, to hangout with the less strict parent, to get in trouble, and so on.  Boyhood, to much of my delight, is essentially nothing but these sort of moments.  In other words, there are no sweeping segments of pretentious philosophizing in Boyhood – you simply follow a boy (played by Ellar Coltrane) as he moves along from first grade to high school and goes through the various highs and lows of growing up, and it’s all just an unbelievably accessible and enjoyable experience.

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is an incredible effort, and I’ll be surprised if anything manages to supplant it as my top film of 2014.

The Lesson:

Time to give Richard Linklater one of those fancy Oscars.

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