Monday, 15 September 2014

Boyhood (5/5, Very Good)

Innovative, provocative, mysterious, This wonderful movie directed by Richard Linklater ( Fast Food Nation, the "Before" trilogy) gives what we look for when we are in a cinema: love, passion and dreams. It is impossible to be indifferent with this feature. The originality of the screenplay comes from the simplicity (and complexity) of the story: the boyhood of a boy called Mason (Ellar Coltrane).Considering the narrative of the story is based on Mason's evolution from an innocent childhood (with a background of family conflicts) to a dreamer adolescence starting to build his own path in college. 

The first and main quality of the movie is its realism. As spectators we are invited to be part of Mason's life and to observe his own internal conflicts whilst his mother (played by the great Rosanna Arquette) looks for stability both in her relationships and at work. Through his eyes we see his mother living through difficult times and we feel the absence of his father (an amazing Ethan Hawke). What these characters seek is what we all of us look for: a better life. Absorbed by an American society in conflict (Bush's era), the characters are desperate to escape from it and seek for stability. Don't we all do that at a certain point?

Richard Linklater's film was shot over 12 years with the same actors to give the feeling that we are part of Mason's life and also to offer authenticity to the story. The actors get older, their voices change as their look but the spirit of life never shuts down in their eyes. There isn't much else to say. It is a story about time. A story about places. A story about people. A story about love.  It talks to everyone of us: we all are Mason and Mason is us. Definitely one of the best films of the decade.


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