boyhood Watched Richard Linklater’s newest offering “Boyhood” last night, and I feel like I’ve seen something entirely new. It took the conventions of television in seeing a character grow up in front of our eyes over a period of multiple seasons, and rolled it into a single film. We saw our main character Mason evolve from a regular 6 year-old boy into a complicated teen, then a young man with his own suspicious and strangely comfortable melancholic view of the world. Frankly, the film starts out bad with the first half hour riddled with bad acting, lighting, and directing. But then Mason is suddenly a year older and he’s in the back of his father’s car (wonderfully played by Ethan Hawke), his sister (played by Richard’s real life daughter Lorelei), and the film just clicks at that point. In my opinion, Ethan Hawke was really the creative glue that kept a largely experimental film with young and generally inexperienced actors, on the rails. From that moment in the film, it seems there’s also an eventual changeover in DP’s, and the film starts to look better with more expert lighting and camera movements, the directing becomes much more fluid, and acting calmer and more real. At that point Patricia Arquette who plays the mother, also starts to beautifully ease into her own role in the film, which culminates in such a real moment at the end when Mason leaves for college. That moment felt so real and genuine, it was like seeing my own mother when my little brother finally left the nest. The real highlight in the film is the heart. Richard Linklater has such an ability to identify the emotional core in his stories and this is no exception. But this film goes beyond, it really has positive energy oozing from it, down to the small parental lessons he peppers throughout. If I were a parent right now, I would buy this on DVD and want my children watching this over and over again. I walked in with no expectations other than I love Linklater’s work, and left feeling reenergized that filmmaking can still have heart and be entirely unapologetic for it, especially for a near 3 hour movie that has no CGI. Eddie Huang’s tweet said it best – “For real #Boyhood got me to watch white people for THREE HOURS without dragons, magic, or pink nipples #Respekt”. Go see this movie, it’ll make that anxious heart feel good again. And kudos to the producers, who were able to align an entire cast and crew’s schedule over a decade’s time which is no easy feat. Here’s the trailer…