Boyhood (2014) - Richard Linklater
12 years in the making, Richard Linklater's Boyhood is an incredible achievement in filmmaking which almost feels bulletproof from a critical perspective. For those unaware, Boyhood tells the story of Mason, who literally grows up on the screen before the audiences eyes, going from six years old to a full-fledged adult. I must admit, I was a little concerned that Boyhood was not much more than a clever gimmick, but with Richard Linklater running the show, those fears were quickly relinquished. Simply put, Boyhood is a film about life itself, being incredibly poignant and relateable to everyone with a pulse. Boyhood is a film that greatly affected me on an emtonional level, triggering memories and nostalgia from my past that had laid dormant for many years. While the film centers its story around Mason this is a film about his entire family, with every character in this film being multidimensional characters each with their own flaws and strengths. Richard Linklater deserves an incredible amount of praise for creating such a free-flowing, deeply collaborative film that has the fingerprints of all the actors experiences throughout it. That being said, this film is the definition of a deeply personal film that personifies Richard Linklater as a person, capturing the soul of the filmmaker in the process. Boyhood defies traditional storytelling conventions, never falling victim to the restraints of "three act structure", instead being a film that feels like life itself where actions, consequences, emotions, etc. are not nearly as structured as many screenplays make life out to be. Linklater doesn't waste time defining the time or age of the characters throughout Boyhood because he understands it doesn't matter, capturing the relationship between memory and time and how it is not nearly as structured or defined in our heads as we make it out to be. Simply put, Richard Linklater's Boyhood is a deeply poignant, inspiring film about the human condition that is most likely the pinnacle of a great career.
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