Boyhood was without doubt faced many obstacles during its realisation and production. It could very well never see the light of day, for obvious reasons. Only here, all the weaknesses which in the hands of another would be fatal to the film becoming forces, whole units of it when Richard Linklater is behind the camera. In 2002, the writer-director to the origin of the sublime Before Sunrise embarked in a project, an ambition that is crazy, a study of life through the actors filmed intermittently every year for twelve years. In 2014, the project is materialized and is rewarded at the Berlin and Sundance. Remains to be seen if it is a movie based only on a ingenious concept, or a work smart and mature that manages to transcend his idea.
Indeed, the very concept of BOYHOOD was without a doubt the greatest trap in which could fall Richard Linklater. He would have been able to give a film pretentious, pompous, full of bad symbolic and ” return to the past/future projection “. But the director avoids this and delivers a film of a simplicity astounding. We will see a family grow up, separate, love, live, chronologically and without artifice. Life by Richard Linklater is a breathtaking beauty, one that you take out a silly smile when the lights come back on, the one that makes you want to never leave the universe in place. Even when the characters suffer separations or disappointments, the director casts her loving gaze upon this family ; the timeline is totally controlled us to quickly put into perspective these issues, to focus on the positive. The writing serves as a complete assembly, and if you feel an improvisation welcome to some of the scenes, one can only applaud the author’s choice to always take the viewer against the foot. On a film telling the story of the life of a boy from 6 to 18 years, we can expect to see the first disappointment, the first kiss, the first time, the first evening, the first dramatic event. Well, no, the director will put you in front of the established fact, and avoids the voyeurism almost inevitable with this kind of concept to pass over in silence most of the times considered as the major steps in the life. What it is interested in, what are the small things. The small conversations with no apparent impacts. Couples form and break up. The life, simply. No wonder, therefore, that the attachment to the characters are so strong. They are all alive, they all have something, we have seen it grow and evolve. The exit is also difficult to leave the couple Jesse/celine (Celine at the end of Before Sunrise, we would like to stay more hours with them. But Richard Linklater remains true to its theme, and the viewer, to its scale, is also a victim of the passing of time.
Richard Linklater is a author, and an author’s exchange with his works. BOYHOOD was therefore likely to suffer from a large heterogeneity in both the style of the director has evolved since the first film. This disparity is well and good, but ultimately far from being a defect, it is body with the film. As far as Mason grew up, Richard Linklaterand his production are also gaining in maturity. Thus, in addition to assisting in the development of a family, we are witnessing the evolution of a production, a filmmaker. The fiction joins reality. The director slows down the fitting, plays more on the still shots, slows down the long tracking shots that decorated Before Sunset and the beginning of BOYHOOD and back to a division more pronounced, as in Before Midnight, as at the end of BOYHOOD. But if there is one point on which the director-author has changed nothing, it is the choice of music. Soundtrack to dante’s from Dazed and Confused said, in the musical scenes of the trilogy Before the confirmed ; Richard Linklater has the knack to provide the best pieces and use them with gusto. The sound editing is perfect and the chemistry between the image and the sound works perfectly as soon as Bob Dylan or Phoenix are heard. Music through the ages and sometimes, after Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Gotye to appear in the background, as if the director had just asked his players what was the tube of the moment in terms of realism.
If we find the leg of a director at any time, he is also a director of actors unparalleled and he proves it once more. We had not seen children play as well since Tree Of Life. It would be wrong to say thatEllar Coltrane carries the film on his shoulders, as Richard Linklater is generous with the supporting roles, and each actor sticks to his character, but the child/teen book delivery impressive. We are not here in a performance at the Oscars, it’s all in the accuracy. And it takes, correctness, and talent, to take as good a character for twelve years. By his actors, BOYHOOD immerses us in mundane situations, that it has almost all already lived, it does live on in our eyes a familiar world and turns life into a wonderful experience, of a purity that only a certain Terrence Malick could achieve until then. And the director uses his characters not only by writing fabulous, but the dialogue always true. Phrases that make we believe in what we are shown. Words that speak of time, of life and of human relations, these words which we have all already heard, but which, under the camera of the american, regain their sense of initiation.
”Richard Linklater tells the story of a familiar world and turns life into a wonderful experience”
Touched by grace, BOYHOOD , therefore, is a grandiose work that fits among the best films of 2014. It will undoubtedly become a cult for its concept, the film has the merit to exploit fully his idea, with a subtlety rare. If some small technical shortcomings, the quality of some sounds or a light sometimes ill-managed, testify to the monumental challenge that has set the director-writer, it doesn’t weigh heavy in the face of the plans the beautiful nature or cities in which evolving of the characters incredibly well-written. Every minute is a pure delight, a breath of fresh air. And Richard Linklater to conclude his life of 166 minutes with a majestic scene and a sentence that could summarize his entire career.
• Achievement : Richard Linklater
• Screenplay : Richard Linklater
• Main actors : Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke
• Country of origin : United States
• Released : JULY 23, 2014
• Duration : 2h46mn
• Distributor : IFC Films
• Synopsis : Every year, for 12 years, filmmaker Richard Linklater gathered the same actors for a unique film about family and the passing of time. We can follow the young Mason of the age of six until his majority, living with his sister and his mother separated from his father. Relocations, friends, receipts classes, first emotions, the little things and the big decisions that set the rhythm of her youth and prepare them to become adult…