I walked out of that theater changed. That sounds totally dramatic but it's true because never have I experienced something SO unlike anything in its genre. I felt similarly about Stories We Tell. Here are two films that defy EVERY genre of storytelling and then chop them all up and sew them together and then mash everything into a puree and serve them over the rind. It's like Molecular Gastronomy for the Storywatcher's Soul.
The movie itself is about moments, even the seemingly arbitrary ones. In BOYHOOD, nothing happens and everything happens and shit gets fucked up and life is magical. And through it all, we grow... the children, the parents, the world.
We become better.
In an interview with DEADLINE, Linklater, when probed about making the movie over the span of twelve years, says, "By the time Mason got to high school, we’d say, wow, this is our best year yet. We said that every year until the end. Even the last scene we did, when he’s there with the young woman in West Texas, there was just something mystical about it and we said, wow, this is the best scene in the movie."
The best is yet to come.
And that's what makes coming of age stories so magical. We are defined by our youth in a way we will never fully understand. And even when we know better now and learned our lesson and moved on, the rings still exist in our proverbial trunks, crooked and detached, around and around and around.
(This is why I've always been bothered by all the "Letters to my Younger Self"ies. They imply a certain smugness for who we were and how little we understood back when we were, well, younger. And, yes, we knew less then. But we also felt more and that's beautiful in a way that is specific to then. BOYHOOD respects that and celebrates that in a way that isn't condescending. I love that. Linklater clearly loves and understands that children are people, too.)
Ellar Coltrane & Lorelei Linkater in BOYHOOD
This movie, much like the BOYHOOD it represents, is a rebellion.
It's also a masterpiece I didn't want to see end.
Go see Boyhood this weekend. And bring everyone you know.