People kept being surprised that I hadn't seen Richard Linklater's Boyhood, but last week I finally saw it, at a nighttime show crowded with 20-somethings. This coming-of-age story for the Millennial Generation was famously filmed over a period of 12 years with the same cast. We get to watch the actor portraying its soulful main character grow from a 6-year-old boy to a college freshman. The concept & the logistics of production probably made a bigger impression on me than the actual story, which has moments that look genuinely spontaneous as well as scenes that feel pat. The movie does a good job tracking its post-9/11 time period through references to computer products, songs & the political climate. It's remarkably coherent & consistent-looking, despite requiring scenes shot years apart. The film's generally low-key mood makes it possible to sit through its nearly 3-hour length comfortably, though it's so emotionally gentle that the audience I sat with almost seemed disappointed when no one got hurt in a scene where unsupervised teenage boys play recklessly with a buzz saw blade while drinking.
§ Boyhood (2014) dir. Richard Linklater, USA, 165 mins.