The other night we watched Boyhood, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.
This movie is extraordinary in that it doesn’t seem like a movie at all. Instead, it feels like Richard Linklater just reached into everyone’s collective childhood, pulled out all these strings of memories (good and bad), and wove them into a beautiful story. Watching Boyhood makes you feel like you’re growing up all over again.
The movie was filmed over 12 years with the same cast, following the growth of a boy, Mason, from adorable first grader to moody teenager to philosophical high school graduate. There were three girls sitting next to me in the theater who would gasp and coo whenever a new stage (read: haircut) of Mason’s life was introduced, and while most of us kept our reactions more subdued, I’m pretty sure we all felt the same sense of amazement that this kid was growing up before our eyes. I could easily see this being an emotional roller coaster for any parents in the audience, haha. On that note, you also get to follow the lives of Mason’s divorced parents, who have really interesting stories of their own, and see how their actions influence his thoughts and decisions. It makes you feel like you know all these people, like you’ve experienced the family trips and birthday parties and homemade dinners along with them.
And that’s it, basically. There’s no complex theme, no crazy plot twists, just an ode to life itself. Obviously that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but being the sentimental and nostalgic person I am, I thought it was wonderful. I loved reliving simple things about childhood that I’d forgotten about, like saying the pledge of allegiance or having your parents read to you before bed. What’s also amazing is that the director and cast had no idea what was going to happen when they started filming in 2002. Obama ran for president, Harry Potter books were released at midnight, Facebook was created…these things all came about as the project continued, and were included seamlessly into the story. If anything, it’s a really cool time capsule of the years 2002-2014.
If I had to recommend one movie to watch from this year so far, this is it.