Movie Review: Boyhood (2014) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yrs old Casual Blogger"
Scoring 100/100 in Metacritic (50 reviews) and 9.2/10 in RT. Hailed "extraordinary" by Christopher Nolan and "an incredible gift" by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the person who beat Boyhood to the Best Picture crown in a "thank you" email. Boyhood (2014) is the highest rated movie in the 2010s, and it was accomplished by 12 years of hard work and a mere budget of 4 million. What does this independent film have to tell?
Over its 150 min runtime, Boyhood doesn't feel like a movie. Its apparently a documentary of a boy growing up in the American society and custom. From beginning to end, every scene is shot natural and genuine, with transitions and plot elements so truthful to how a person's life would be. It makes easier for the audience to relate and feel with the characters so to have a grasp of the main themes Boyhood tries to convey. There is almost zero drama, zero climax. And that is to depict life, a journey without drama, without climax, but still challenging and epic as life continues.
All the realism is further substantiated by tremendous acting. The protagonist is acting so well regardless of the age he was in. His expression is natural while being enigmatic and innocent at the same time so to provide the film a central character with a personality and attitude. His parents acted incredibly - his mum and dad are true to their roles . Even the minor characters are being natural and vivid under the film's free-style direction.
The only thing with Boyhood concerns what would matter when shown in front of a wider audience. As typical Americans shall relate and cry for the film's characters, for other people it is a process of understanding and wondering American customs'. For instance, I felt more like I was musing over the differences of how a child grow up to be a young adult in America comparing to one that is growing up in Hong Kong. Here's a difference in perspective of watching a film due to custom difference between countries and races.
However, at the end. We are all marveling at how accurately is Boyhood depicting the process of growing up and the process of living. It's film structure, having no lucid direction and telling a story by crumbling chunks of sequences about a boy in his different stages of life - childhood, adolescence, adulthood, with no foreshadowing and complexity, merely coherent and intentionally throwing in unnecessary plot points, somehow created a meaningful, realistic picture of the randomness, emptiness, goalless of life, its fleeting nature and those ephemeral moments to shine and scintillate being the elements that cause us to feel lost and to feel hope spasmodically. All in all it is one meaningful movie that thoroughly proves the power of an indie film, and the fact that sometimes the making of a good film doesn't need much money and effort. You just need time, 12 years of incessant filming using the same actors/actresses, and reap what you sow in one particular fateful year.