English: Richard Linklater at the 2007 premier...
Richard Linklater at the 2007 premiere of The Hottest State in Austin, Texas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Where did the time go?”

This proverbial question is one that you hear a lot. It is the question asked when we are a guest at a wedding, high school graduation, family reunion or funeral…we look around and maybe the only other question that comes to mind is “Remember the time when…?” 

This past weekend Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD opened more widely in theaters across the country. After glancing at the Metacritic average score of 100 based on 49 professional reviews, it was easy enough to carve out 2 hours and 42 minutes from a Saturday afternoon. Even Rotten Tomatoes’ data was certified fresh.  

Before you go, what you want to know about BOYHOOD

The story of Mason, Jr, is not unusual; in fact it is pretty ordinary. He has one sister, his parents divorced when he was about five years old…and he spends his childhood (his boyhood) taking the journey from kindergarten to high school graduation treading lightly, but with a certain boldness and pensive honesty.

Today’s post isn’t about spoiling the story line for you, it is about underscoring the most interesting approach that Linklater took in writing, directing and producing BOYHOOD. According to Wikipedia:

In May 2002, film director and screenwriter Richard Linklater announced that he would begin shooting the then unnamed film in his home city of Houston, in the summer of 2002. At that time, Linklater planned to assemble the cast and crew a few weeks out of every year to shoot the story over a 12-year period, reasoning that “I’ve long wanted to tell the story of a parent–child relationship that follows a boy from the first through the 12th grade and ends with him going off to college. But the dilemma is that kids change so much that it is impossible to cover that much ground. And I am totally ready to adapt the story to whatever he is going through.” Linklater hired the then seven-year-old Ellar Coltrane to play the boy as the centerpiece of the story and to continue portraying the role through the film’s 12-year shooting period.

Imagine watching a film (not unlike a spliced home movie or YouTube video) where the main characters actually age in front of your eyes. They are not aging with make-up and costumery…they are all really maturing, growing taller, gaining weight, losing weight, changing hairstyles…it is incredible to witness. Realizing at the same time you are being drawn into Mason’s life, not unlike a next door neighbor. 

CBS Sunday Morning’s David Edelstein talks about BOYHOOD

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

Some closing thoughts…

Again, our goal today is not to spoil the movie for our readers. Be assured that this trip through time will resonate. You will think back to your own days growing up, as well as your days of making hard decisions about your life and down the road how those decisions impacted you and perhaps your children. You might recall your own divorce, your rush to find a new spouse who will make your family whole again!

BOYHOOD is really about the whole family, sometimes the family is functional and at other times dysfunctional.  Earlier this year we wrote about the movie NEBRASKA and zeroed in on the life of an adult child of an alcoholic…with BOYHOOD one gets a quick glimpse into the drama of younger children watching stepfather(s) who are battling alcoholism.

BOYHOOD is about time, those long 12 years between kindergarten and high school graduation. When we are living it, each year seems an eternity…one day at a time. And then you find yourself reviewing those day to day choices you made and how you were able to walk through those choices…one step at a time.

Enjoy the movie…

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