Finally Watched: Boyhood (2014)

You don’t want the bumpers, life doesn’t give you bumpers.

Boyhood – the coming of age movie that starred Ethan Hawke, took 12 years to make (using the same actors), and was spoofed and referenced up and down Hollywood almost as soon as it was released. That was the extent of my foreknowledge before I sat down and watched the two hour and forty five minute movie.

Mason Evans Jr (Ellar Coltrane) is six years old. The world is seen through his unique perspective with childlike wonder. His sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) is annoying, he doesn’t understand why his mother Olivia (Patricia Arquette) isn’t happy, and he wishes his dad Mason Sr (Ethan Hawke) was around. He’s only at the beginning of his long life and every year brings a new obstacle to overcome and renewed understanding for the people he loves, as Mason slowly starts to find his place in the world.

Did I like this movie? Yes I did.

I can understand why someone would call it boring or unnecessarily long, but personally I love movies and TV series that are about average people and the simplicities of their everyday life. It was also weird and cool because the pop culture references weren’t references – they were staples of the time it was filmed. From a little girl singing along to Britney’s Oops I did it again, to the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the green big backed Apple Mac’s to the Obama vs Mccain campaign. It was like watching archived footage, and it made you realise just how much the world changes with you.

It’s like they crammed all seven seasons of Boy Meets World (1993-2000) into 165 minutes. Which is great if you don’t have time to commit to the hours of binge watching that it would take to get through this Disney classic – but not so great if you want to be emotionally invested in more than one character. I know I know – Boyhood. Emphasis on the Boy. But I still think there wasn’t enough attention given to the other characters and the problems they were going through.

We watched them grow physically and adopt life changes over the years, but it still seemed like they were banging on the glass box that enclosed Mason Jr’s world, begging to be given a little more depth.

Granted I was three years late to the party, but Boyhood is a timeless piece and I think all thirteen year olds should be forced to watch it as part of the PSHE curriculum.

Boyhood gif.gif


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