Thursday, 17 July 2014


Sometimes, it feels as if Richard Linklater's films are speaking only to me. Like he magically transported himself into my mind and read my thoughts, my worries, my grumblings.

When I walked out of Before Midnight last year, I stopped on route home to get wine, determined to smugly announce to my Husband that Linklater, Hawke and Delpy had proved that I was NOT mad after all. That the fight we had had that very day had just played out on screen.

Tonight I watched his latest film - and ultimately his best - Boyhood. Shot over 39 days, over a time spanning 12 years, it covers a young boy Mason's transition from boy to man. Or 6 year old to college boy at least. I'm not going to give away any spoilers, but it is utterly incredible. Just visually stunning - to witness this boy grow literally before our eyes. The script ambles along at it's own leisurely pace, taking us along for the joyous ride. Warm, moving, funny and smart - it is almost feels like we are watching a lifetime of home movies, rather than a crafted film. So intimate, so real.

Ethan Hawke plays Mason's feckless Dad, who has a heart of gold buried underneath his teenage-style muso ambitions. He is incredible. As is Patricia Arquette, as the softly spoken hard-working Mom who makes ends meet and meets dead end men. Meanwhile Linklater's own daughter Lorelei is just astonishing - growing from precocious child to thoughtful adult.

Ellar Coltrane as Mason is nothing short of mesmerising - his huge blue eyes just aching with all the angst of growing up, surviving, loving, losing and all the rest. As I watched his pudgy years slip away, and acne begin, facial hair appear as his voice breaks - all I could think of was Sproglet and how every second he slips through my fingers a little more. It made me want to stand in front of Father time and tell him to take a hike. I just wanted to relish every single second, before it disappeared.

I wish I could define why I loved it so: and yet, I am at a loss for words. There is no other film quite like it - save the fantastic 7 up series on ITV, charting kids lives from the 60s. But this is contained within one family - and all it's disfunction.

At it's heart, the message, spelt out in the final scene (not a spoiler I promise) is to seize the moment - or it in fact seizes us. If there was ever a film that advocated that we cherish every second of life, the good and the bad bits - I have yet to see it. At over 2 and a half hours long, some critics may mock that we age along with it - but for me, there was never a dull moment.

Linklater's gift is to make us feel included in this family, to champion and cherish all the times we get to spend with them - to love them like he clearly does. Then it reminds us, to look around us and do exactly that with our own.  This is nothing short of brilliant.



AG said...

I am so excited to see this at the weekend. Like you, the Before trilogy are some of my favourite films.

Crummy Mummy said...

Ayesha you will love it - let me know what you think! x

Katy Regan said...

Oh god, will this make me WEEP considering our conversation the other eve?! I am thinking it will. I want to see it still, however. Beautifully written review xx