25 October, 2014

Boyhood

During the summer my husband and I went to the cinema to see the film ‘Boyhood’, directed by Richard Linklater. If you read my blog regularly you may remember that I am a fan of Linklater’s films, especially the ‘Before...’ trilogy.

‘Boyhood’ explores the notion of growing up, and filming took place over a period of twelve years with the same actors. The themes covered include how people change over time, how relationships develop, how people move on during the course of their lives, and interaction between the generations. So, as with the ‘Before...’ trilogy, Linklater’s interest remains with the passage of time, although this time he deals out a sustained study, rather than snapshots at nine-year intervals.

I really enjoyed this film. It is a considerable achievement to maintain momentum and focus over such a long, yet fragmented, period of filming, and this certainly strikes you when watching. It is also interesting to see how the actors themselves change over time—how they age or grow up, depending on their starting points. And there were a couple of points made in the film which certainly resonated with me. One, when the mother of Mason (the boy of the film's title) breaks down in tears as her son is getting ready to leave home for university, saying that she’s now passed all of life’s major milestones, bar one—her own funeral. And the second, where Mason comments that, although his mother has had so much experience and has worked really hard to get the job she yearns for, she still doesn't know what she really wants out of life and deep down is just as confused as he is.

So, eighteen or forty—it makes no difference to how you feel. Linklater is spot on, as usual!

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