Sunday, August 24, 2014
Produced by Sandra Adair, Caroline Kaplan, Richard Linklater, Kirsten McMurray, Vincent Palmo Jr., Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland, Anne Walker-McBay.
Color, live action, 164 minutes
Teens and up (see below)
I haven't posted here in a long time because living demands more attention than spectating, but I'm taking time out to plug a movie about, well, living: BOYHOOD. If you've read about it at all, you know that indie director Richard Linklater, whose films often deal with persistence and change through time, cast the lead, Ellar Coltrane, at the age of six. Everyone involved aged 12 years during the making of the movie.
Aside from that layer adding to what is already a moving chronicle of a family over the last decade, the shooting circumstances and lives of the makers that shadow the film add a level of richness to BOYHOOD that is less palpable, though obviously always present, in other films. Knowing the level of commitment of the ensemble of actors and crew, imagining their collaboration and the many ways the film likely parallels developments in their own lives, and sensing the sadness they must have felt when the shooting stopped, adds to the pondering of love and loss that runs through BOYHOOD. This is most explicit in a scene during which Patricia Arquette, who plays the central character's mother, lectures a psychology class on John Bowlby's attachment theory.
During a Q+A by producer John Sloss he mentioned that his kids—who are currently the sames ages as the characters Mason and Sam are at the start of BOYHOOD—have only seen that first section. So one way to watch this with kids would be segment by segment as they age. It's a movie to savor and revisit. For those watching it with teens now, while it's still fresh, it's quickly becoming a rite of passage.