“The first hour of the film is, for lack of a better word… Boring! It gave itself a lot of work to get me back on board…”
By Ryan Casey
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane
Director(s): Richard Linklater
Screenwriter(s): Richard Linklater
Running Time: 166mins
The fifth instalment of our Oscar review season is here! Featuring ‘Boyhood’, a movie that has created a considerable buzz, due in most part to its hefty twelve year production schedule. The idea seemed ambitious, and possesses a certain individuality. Nevertheless it remained to be seen if the film would escape from what my preconceptions has labelled a “novelty act” and become an enjoyable picture with substance… Needless to say, I was slightly pessimistic about this one.
The life of a young man, Mason (Coltrane), from age 5 to 18.
My major gripe with Boyhood is simple… It’s way too long! It reminded me of a six hour Bollywood epic. I’m not ashamed to admit, I had to have a break half way through to make a sandwich and re-think my life. Once the film had ended I struggled to remember how it had begun… I mean I might be going senile, but…
In all seriousness, it’s as though the filmmakers decided they had to justify the time it took to produce Boyhood by giving it an absolute juggernaut run-time… You might be thinking “Come on, it’s only 166 minutes, get over it”, however it feels much longer, this is mainly due to the films slow pace which peaks and troughs at regular intervals, this style is fine as it fits with the films principal realism, but there are only so many times a film should build you up only too knock you back.
The first hour of the film is, for lack of a better word… Boring! It gave itself a lot of work to get me back on board… Too be fair the middle & 3rd act are far more watchable, but it’s a case of the damage being done early.
Don’t get me wrong Boyhood defiantly has its positives, it achieves a status far greater than a simple novelty and is, at its core, a very well constructed movie, with a touching, raw, heart felt story that will no doubt touch on peoples own experiences of growing up, parenthood, marriage and general domestic life.
With regards to the cast in Boyhood there is little fault to find, maybe in the early stages the younger actors are a little bit raw & unconvincing… However their performances definitely mature as the film progresses. Ethan Hawke is the standout as Masons Jr’s Dad Mason Sr, his character is easily the most likeable and compelling in the film and lends himself into producing the most “real” relationships in the movie and helps bring proceedings back down to Earth… Especially in the early stages.
When the dust settles, your left regarding Boyhood as the film they shot over the space of twelve years and didn’t change the actors… For me this is the only aspect of the movie that sets it apart from anything that is already out there… Still definitely worth a watch. The movie business’s answer to “Seven Up!” is definitely an experience.