Wow. I LOVED this movie. And the more I think about this movie, the more I love this movie. I was lucky enough to get a ticket to see it at the SF International Film Fest where they were giving Richard Linklater the Founder’s Directing Award presented by, my absolute favorite indie actress of all time, Parker Posey.
If you can’t think of who Richard Linklater is off the top of your head then think of, one of my all time favorites, Dazed and Confused or Bernie or the Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight triology. Yeah, you know him for sure. And you know that his movies will always be sweet and insightful with great dialogue and soundtracks.
Boyhood does not diverge from that formula. But it is different than any other movie – possibly ever – in that it was shot with the same cast over the period of 12 years starting in 2002. It is the story of … well … boyhood. The story of a 6 year old boy who is growing up in a broken home and all the trials and tribulations that come with that.
The story itself is sweet and follows their lives around in the good and bad times, but the part of it that astonishes me the most is to actually watch the children grow up in front of my eyes. And to watch the parents – Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke – age over the 12 years. No special makeup or effects, just good old Mother Nature making people older or fatter or whatever. It was amazing to see and weird to try to comprehend.
The other part that is still blowing my mind is thinking of all the world events that took place during that period of 2002-2014 that were referenced in the movie and all the technological innovations that happened – like Obama elections or the iPhone or Facebook – and how that affected the lives of the characters. It was really profound yet understated in the movie as if somehow Linklater just knew these things would unfold over the course of the 12 years that it took to shoot this movie. To imagine how they might have outlined the script, but would have to revisit what had occurred in the time since they were last together and rewrite based on is really cool.
It has been several days and I’m still reveling in the afterglow of how beautiful this movie was. Thank you, Mr. Linklater, for showing the world that it isn’t always about how big the explosion is or how many special effects you can cram into one movie, but how true storytelling really touches the soul.