Time to Remember
Oscar season is finally over and now is my time to obsessively watch all of the winning performances and films I missed. This is the first in a series of reviews covering the winners.
Indy dramas tend to skew towards quiet thoughtful affairs and Boyhood is no exception.Richard Linklater has crafted an authentic take on the tried and true coming-of-age genre by filming Boyhood over a period of 12 years with barely a sketch of a plot , giving it genuine feel of life progressions . It tracks the life of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) a six year old boy who lives with his divorcee mother Olivia (Best supporting Actress Patricia Arquette) and sister Samantha (Lorelai Linklater). The movie is slowly paced- there are minor upheavals in the boys life( the biggest being his Mothers' predilection for a string drunk abusive men which propels the family to new places and the Mom to her next bad relationship ) but for the most part there are no earth shattering moments or grand plot points. The only way you can surmise that time is passed is the actual growth of Mason mixed with his varying hairstyles and lengths..
The boys actual father Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke) seems to be the best of the exes - his biggest flaw seems to be that he married before he had time to grow up himself. He is a reliable weekend Dad who initially is painted as a flake but really becomes a steady constant in his children's lives. Olivia is constantly trying to better herself through education and misconstrues relationships with stability. Both Hawke and Arquette are very naturalistic in their portrayals and they have a nice rapport with their younger co-stars.
Young Coltrane is very subdued. I know in film it is sometimes preferable to use kids with little or no experience to help capture truthful and un-affected performances but I found his character a bit flat. It probably is a perfect representation of a boy growing up, but it is not exciting to watch. The biggest excitement came from the actual physical metamorphosis of the boy from ages 6 to 18. Visually , that is the most stirring image, but the same effect could have been achieved in a photo collection.
Unfortunately, I found absolutely nothing in the movie that screamed Oscar Worthy. Sure, independent Spirit award worthy. But Oscar worthy? The greatest achievement of the film was securing these actors for 12 consecutive years. If there is an award given for that, I would say this is the winner.
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