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Boyhood: Richard Linklater is the auteur of adolescence
By SP_COP on July 07, 2014 | From www.theguardian.com
Boyhood: Richard Linklater is the auteur of adolescence A three-hour time-lapse epic of the everyday, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is a watershed moment in his two-decade career as an American film-maker, the third or fourth actual or near-masterpiece he has made in the last decade, and likely the first to nab a best picture nomination at next year’s Oscars. Boyhood enlarges by one enormously substantial and rewarding contribution that small group of truly great movies about childhood and adolescence, joining Stand By Me, Mud, The Spectacular Now, Forbidden Games and The 400 Blows.

Like Dazed And Confused, School Of Rock and The Bad News Bears, it demonstrates again that Linklater has inherited Truffaut’s instinctive feel for the lives and cares of children and teenagers. And unlike six of his other movies, which all unfold within a 24-hour period, Boyhood takes its time – 12 years of shooting time, in fact, during which a dopey six-year-old Texas kid named Mason (Ellar Coltrane) ages over a decade of real time into a smart, cool and absolutely plausible high-school senior.

But what matters here is the life all around him, pieced together tapestry-style by Linklater from myriad tiny incidents into a vibrant sense of the way life actually feels, a steady accretion of small moments – with very few bombshells – that taken collectively exert an immensely strong emotional hold. Ellar’s divorced parents (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette) are forever circling each other warily, his dad an irresponsible dreamer, his mom a little impractical and overwhelmed, but robust enough, while Ellar’s big sister (played by Linklater’s own daughter Lorelei) is a likable wiseass. There’s a succession of houses and apartments, new towns and new schools, new friends and new bullies, and step-parents who come and go, including a couple of violent, scary booze-hounds. There are beautiful moments with Ellar’s errant but loving dad, who takes his kids out campaigning for Obama in 08, debates with his son about the merits of Star Wars, wants to know way too much about his daughter’s first boyfriend, but really comes through when his son asks him how to talk to girls. By then we’ve already seen a younger Mason with a lingerie catalogue, realising, with a giggle, why pictures of half-naked ladies are naughty and fun. Then there are real girls, and first love, and heartbreak, and all of it....
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