Boyhood movie full length review - This is not worth all the praise
When I heard about this movie over summer in China, I was so excited that I prayed it would still be in theaters when I came back. And it was still in theaters when I came back.
But it's NOT worth 99% on rotten tomatoes or an 8.8 here. And it's not worth an Oscar nomination. I'm just glad they didn't take it all the way.
Just because you took 12 years filming this doesn't mean you get to geta 99% RT and an 8.8 IMDb without deserving it.
And honestly, I don't agree with any of the people saying how we should appreciate their efforts. Look, the director gathered the people around once every year for like 3 days or something, to film a script that was made up impromptu. There was no effort in planning this film. They practically didn't even pay anybody to write a script. Also, judging from how abysmal the acting was (I didn't even feel that Arquette deserved her Oscar and Hawke deserved his nomination), I don't think they gave much effort at all. And come on, the budget was 2.4M... One episode of the big bang theory beats this. The best I can say is that they had patience. But I don't think you can make a bad film good just because they refused to recruit more actors and employ CGI to do the aging effects.
Okay let's talk about this movie. It had no plot, other than showing us "look, he got taller, he cut hair, he grew back hair, he's drinking, kissing a girl, breaking up with a girl, going to college..." Look, I know this film is supposed to be about everyday life, so I wasn't even expecting an epic storyline, but this is too boring. Modern Family is about everyday life, and you see the kids growing up, but there's something worth watching in the episodes. The only purpose of Boyhood is showing you, look, the kids grew up and the parents got wrinkles. While I can appreciate how time flies, how kids grow taller and adults grow wrinkles is really not worth making a movie about.
I grew up almost in the same time, I think I'm 2 years above the boy... but Mason's journey didn't click with my teen life at all, and this is coming from a Harry Potter fan. Maybe other people can relate to this, but even if you do, it doesn't exempt this movie from having no plot and no meaning. Also the movie shows you some historic moments, just for the sake of saying, "oh look, we're at 2008 and Obama's running for president". I get it, you want to time stamp this, but what the heck does it have to do with your story?
And for everybody who's saying "but that's how real life is", NO, this is not how real life is. Things happen in real life. We make mistakes and we learn from them and correct ourselves. We grow older not only physically but also mentally and spiritually. We have aspirations and we work towards them. We have a purpose in life, besides whining and wondering what's the point. And we have relationships that are romantic and memorable. It's not just about getting together and separating without even bothering to learn their names.
And let's look at the characters. They're all very unlikable and extremely one dimensional, or even zero dimensional. The only traits on both stepfathers were their abusiveness. The mother was just there to make bad decisions and wonder why her life is so miserable in the end. The father was just a hipster. Mason was simply whiny and passive, and I don't even think Samantha had a personality besides her selfishness. I've never seen a lead cast that's more boring and unlikable in my life. I don't remember myself ever judging on appearance, but these characters really have the worst hair style choice I've ever seen, and Mason's languid and feminine appearance really bugs me. Why would you design a character like this? What purpose does it serve? Anyway I heard that the actor is gay, and while it explains, it actually makes it worse. I have nothing against the gay community, my best friend is bisexual, but actors need to be their characters instead of themselves in their films. So please hide your gayness when you're playing a straight character.
So that's pretty much it. If you want to pay money to just watch the cast age, go ahead. If you're actually looking for something inspiring, don't expect to find that in boyhood. It's pretty much just a timeline with a bunch of messed up one dimensional characters and abysmal acting talents. The opening with the Coldplay song was the only good thing about the movie, it went insufferably bad after that. So I'd recommend buying Coldplay's records than watching this movie.