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“Boyhood” Hits all the Marks and Still Misses

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2018 at 14:37

Boyhood” Hits all the Marks and Still Misses

Boyhood is still being touting as a grand achievement nearly four years after its release. It did achieve something most films don’t: it was touted as a great film by many who seem to think taking twelve years to make a film is AMAZING! One wonders in a time of Black Lives Matter and identity politics if a film that shows one Latino and zero Blacks in Texas of all places would still be cheered as great cinema. 

So I am reposting my review of ‘Boyhood’ if for no other reason but to entertain the woke people who know how bad this film is. 

It's the Moments Boyhood“It’s constant, the moments.”

“Boyhood” is a critical darling, and that’s putting it mildly. It has a nice, non-controversial family, and it presents every “coming of age” childhood milestone at least once. Thus, it has no focus. The technique, filming the movie over 12 years with the same actors, is an interesting experiment in film. However, its technique gets in the way of quality story telling and substance. Trying something innovative does not mean the film should get a pass and automatically get raves. 

In the film there’s one bullying event, one break up, one drunken night with the guys, one of everything, like a sample platter at Golden Corral. There was even one non-white character in the film. Moreover, there is no follow-up on any of the events. What is so masterful about that? The film has a series of disconnected events in a boy’s life that had no focus. “Growing up” is not a plot, no matter how many people are fooled into believing it is. 

The dialogue was contrived. It’s as if every line from teenage Mason was taken from a Smith’s song. As I was watching, I couldn’t help thinking, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now…” At least the film didn’t have an out-of-place tragedy like a “Girlfriend in a Coma.” Yes, I wanted to stop him, for I had heard it all before. Morrissey does pathos better, and with him we don’t have to suffer through two hours of pretentiousness.  

Honest trailers nails it!

Mason was too confident about his misery. His dialogue we pre-packaged, as if he was reciting a script, not living in the moment. The film features a series of moments, a few interesting ones, but mostly tiresome first world problems from an uninteresting boy and family. As a film buddy of mine stated, “the film could have been called ‘The Discreet Charm of the Petite Bourgeoisie.’ ” However, it wasn’t charming, nor funny, nor revelatory or original like the Buñuel classic. 

With the exception of Ethan Hawke, who, to be fair, had the best dialogue in the film, the acting was mediocre. Perhaps filming the movie over 12 years made it hard for the actors to stay sharp and focused on their characters, so the acting was uneven throughout. There was nothing of note in the music, other than the cliche’ of highlighting the passage of time with a hit song from the era in the scene. It was cute at first, then it became tiresome. 

Rating: Rent it

If your sister, mother, brother or friend wants to see it, you can watch it together and not upset anyone with confusing events like actual poverty and unexpected occurrences like Black people appearing on the screen. Moreover, you can talk during the film because there is no need to really pay close attention while it is playing. You won’t miss anything. Otherwise, see the infinitely better “The Way Way Back” if you want to see a cute coming of age movie. 

This movie had already risen into the pantheon of overrated movies, even before it won some undeserved Oscars, BAFTAS, Golden Globes and other awards. It is style over substance. If I had to describe this film in one word, other than overrated, it would be “trite.”

Tex Shelters

P.S.: Even the official trailer is pretentious.