Sunday, February 15, 2015

Boyhood


The boy adores his cars, traffic signs and road layouts. He plays with them for hours. Our son also liked toy cars a lot (I think he still likes cars, but he now has a full-sized one of his own) but his road mat was the one thing he didn't play with much.


Last night we watched the film "Boyhood". I'm not much of a one for films - they involve sitting still for longer than I usually feel like doing and they're often rather harrowing - but I found this one compelling. If you haven't watched it, I recommend it. In my old age I can't cope - or am perhaps unwilling to cope - with books or films involving much sadness or violence. However this, while not being a jolly romp, doesn't dwell long on the sad or frightening sides of life, though difficult things to appear from time to time, as in all our lives.

I thought the most fascinating part of it was just seeing the boy actor and his sister transform from 8 to 18, almost like a time-lapse film of a flower opening. The story, though interesting enough, was secondary as far as I was concerned. I can remember sitting with my little boy on my knee and finding it very hard to imagine that he would grow up to be a big man. But he did.

And Grandson will too, though this is equally hard to imagine. I hope life is kind to him.

One of the most touching moments of the film for me was when the mother is about to see her son, her younger child, off to university, and she wails something like, "I thought there would be more!" Just shortly beforehand, she'd been rejoicing in her imminent freedom to do things for herself at last; and yet, and yet... .

It must have been a huge risk to make this film. What if the actor playing a major character had died or simply been unwilling to continue? I suppose the story would have had to accommodate this. But what if the child actors hadn't been good enough to carry off the scenes of their older lives? Fortunately, they were. I haven't seen any other of the Oscar-nominated films but I hope that "Boyhood" wins, for sheer originality and courage apart from anything else.

8 comments:

  1. Lorelei Linklater, who plays the sister, did indeed have serious doubts about whether she wanted to continue and asked the director (who's her dad) if he would write her character out, but he asked her to think about it for longer and she decided to stay with it.

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  2. Yes, there is a risk in making a film like this......ten years is a long commitment to ask! I haven't seen it, and probably won't either. Most of my life has had small boys in it - younger brothers and cousins, then two sons - the whole 'boyhood' thing has no novelty as far as I am concerned, I've seen it so often.

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  3. I've just watched Boyhood and loved it (though I didn't need reminding than our children turn into adults in the blink of an eye). Such a good decision to stick with the same actors rather than going with different people for the various stages. Can't wait to watch it again.

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  4. Sorry, should have typed that not than.

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  5. I will surely try to see this, though it will be bittersweet as my "baby" son is 33 this summer! But I am enjoying watching my two grandsons and two granddaughters grow up!

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  6. My sons loved to play with cars too, and had a mat similar to this one. We seem to share the same feelings about movies. My husband loves what I call "crashy bangy" movies or tense dramas. I can't watch them with him. I prefer romances or light comedies. I will look out "Boyhood"... I have seen some reviews of it and wondered if it was good. Just now I am looking forward to "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" as I enjoyed the first one so very much. Not romantic nor comedy, just a nice movie that gave you a little to think about.

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  7. Yep to boys and cars - several of my friends' boys were obsessed from the word go. One, a boy twin, loves cars and tractors (tactahs) whereas his sister couldn't care less but adores pinks princesses and ponies etc. Their sporty, outdoor parents who like neither cars nor pink ponies are bewildered!

    I also agree on the "not liking too much misery" as I get older. I started a book today which had such grim cruelty in the first few pages that I have returned it to the shelf and may not retrieve it again!

    Lesley xx

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