Boyhood — Is It Even worth Watching?

ellar coltrane photo

This is “Coma to the Movies” with Leo Johnston, sleep disorder movie reviewer. Leo earned his M.A. from Chippewa University in Film and Sleep Studies where he honed his skill to analyze film while resting his eyes.

By Leo Johnson:
EMToast Press
Film: Boyhood
Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Leo’s Rating:  3 Toasts.

I heard boyhood took 12 years to make.  Luckily I knew this in advance or I probably would have ended up watching it a second time in order to troubleshoot my faulty sleep jumping.

Boyhood makes jumps in time very similar to my own pattern of falling asleep and waking up during a movie.  My technique is to “sleep jump” through the boring parts and wake up during good parts whereas Boyhood simply “time jumps” with no warning or explanation.

The — I think — intentionally plotless film is nearly 3 hours long during which not much really happens.  It’s an outline-sketch-general-overview of some kid’s life.  Due to the time jumpy nature and the many years that are covered, we never really get into any of the real shit.

The film consists of several of male characters who yell alot and are mean to Boyhood.  A generic single mother played by Patricia Arquette .  Ethan Hawke as the absent-and-too-young father who straightens out later in life, a dead-eyed-dead-faced girl  played by Lorelei Linklater and her brother the star of the movie. His name was Boyhood.

Arquette does a standard job in the role.  Nothing outstanding.  Her Oscar win seems more in support of single mothers than her performance.  Ethan Hawke does a better acting job and was more enjoyable to watch.  His character seems to be the only one that grows up at all.  The dead face daughter Lorelei Linklater is one of the worst actors around, there are many of them in the film.  It’s not easy getting extras that will stick around for that many years.

Watching the cast age and grow up was interesting, and it is impressive that the film keeps the same look throughout, but I’m not sure what all the buzz is about.  The most interesting parts there were watching: Patricia Arquette grow a gut then lose it, Ethan Hawke’s face wrinkle, Lorelei Linklater’s face lose all emotion, and Boyhood grow up into a teen Boyhood.  As an experiment and study on growing up / aging the film has merit, and I did not fall asleep during it, so it did hold my interest.   Worth watching? Yes, but there are likely better ways to spend 3 hours.  Hey movie makers — Editing! — try to keep it down to 90 minutes.

Note: The film was Oscar Loser for Best Picture,  Best Original Screenplay,  Best Director.

Photo by vitarlenology

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