Saturday, March 28, 2015

Boyhood and Haiku

Watched Boyhood, directed by Richard Linklater, last night. I admire it for its technical mastery (filmed over 12 years) and for the performance of the main cast. Ellar Coltane, as Mason Junior, grows up before our eyes, with the kind of acting that never seems like acting. Ethan Hawke as dad and Patricia Arquette as mum turn in utterly convincing performances. And here's the but - the story is conventional and some of the minor characters are stereotypical. The Texan grandparents give Ellar a Bible and a gun for his birthday. The veteran husband turns to drinking. The Mexican worker goes to school, on Ellar's mum's advice, and makes good as a restaurant manager. The token Asian appears in the form of Ellar's sister's college dorm-mate. The children--both Ellar and his older sister--are remarkably unscarred by the abusive husbands their mother married. Throughout it all, Ellar retains a heart of gold and an air of innocence. He is dreamy, introspective and wee bit alienated - just enough to gain our trust and liking. He is even artistic - he has a talent for photography. I'd feel less antagonistic towards the film if it was titled Texan Boyhood or White Boyhood, or even American Boyhood--some qualifier--and not with its universal moniker.


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first up
high wind
what was the dream

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