Boyhood Is A Fascinating Movie More Because Of How It Was Made, Than The Movie Itself
I just saw Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, and it was pretty interesting, though mostly on the technical level (it was filmed over a period of 12 years); as an exercise in innovative filmmaking. As a movie meant to engage an audience, it’s way too long–clocking in at almost three hours–and also curiously mistitled because for a movie named ‘Boyhood’ it deals very superficially with the ‘boy,’ of the title, Mason (Ellar Coltrane).
Traditional movies, when you see a young person age any length of time they’re typically played by a younger actor; so to see an actor literally age in front of you is pretty remarkable.
The problem is that Linklater doesn’t do anything–beyond the obvious–with his innovative idea. Mason and his family go through ups, as well as downs (exemplified mostly by Mason’s mom, Patricia Arquette, and her serial marriages).
The actors all do their jobs well, though Ethan Hawke is particularly welcome as Mason’s father. The thing is, if you take away the fascinating way that the movie was made, I honestly think Boyhood would be a pretty ordinary drama because when you get down to it the concept–watching a character literally age before our eyes–is the most interesting thing that it has going for it.
Though once you get used to that, which for me happened sometime around the 2 hour mark, when I began to get a bit antsy, and things got a bit less interesting.