I can’t believe I’m doing this two months in a row. I tried not to do it but I just had to. You see, I watched Boyhood. Afterwards, I was a little down and decided I would watch one of my Grandkids’ favorites, Inside Out.
Boyhood is quite literally one of a kind. Director and Writer, Richard Linklater started this project in 2002. The four main actors in this film remained the same over a twelve year production. I don’t even remember what I looked like twelve years ago! Linklater gathered a core ensemble cast and filmed for approximately a month every year. He took a few weeks to write the next “chapter” and then spent about the same amount of time filming. He then waited another year and did it again. This process was fascinating. You quite literally get to watch the characters lose weight, gain weight, get zits and grow their hair, then cut their hair. You get to see Mason, Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) go from a sweet faced six-year old to a tall, lanky eighteen year old.
I’ve often thought that all kids have stages where they—shall I say it?—go through “homely” phases. Of course my own kids and grandkids didn’t but the characters in Boyhood surely did! This film is like a time capsule. While the premise was brilliant, the script for this fictional family was, in my opinion, just okay. It’s a little like watching reality TV. Am I glad I watched it? Most certainly. The talented Ethan Hawke, as Mason Sr. was wonderful. In twelve years, he goes from a somewhat deadbeat Dad to a devoted family man. Patricia Arquette, is Olivia, the Mom trying to make a life for herself and her family. She literally burns through three husbands in the twelve years. The film is often raw, sometimes endearing, but primarily boring.
Director-Writer, Richard Linklater’s daughter, Lorelei plays the fourth member of the ensemble. She is the older sister, Samantha. More of the same.
While interesting, the emotional aspects of Boyhood left me wanting more. It felt like it scratched the surface.
I may have been one of the few people, who hadn’t watched the animated gem, Inside Out. Quite frankly, I felt that it was somewhat silly to do a movie about little animated characters with names like, Sad, Disgust, Anger and alas, Joy, living in a young girl’s head, I mean “Control Center.” Watching the film, I was engaged with anticipation. Pixar/Disney did it again! What a beautifully simple way of explaining our emotions and I didn’t have to lie on a couch or spend $400.
Now you get the opportunity to judge me. Richard Linklater hit a homerun with Boyhood. In the awards arena it had 200 nominations and walked away with 168 wins, including Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Patricia Arquette. The Academy also nominated it for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Ethan Hawke, Directing and writing for Linklater and Best Film Editing. After all that, I may have to turn in my pen.
Having said that, Inside Out walked away with 2016 Best Animated Film.
Both films have a story to tell in very different genres, aimed at totally different audiences.