Boyhood: My review.
Now and again a film comes along that is worth writing a blog about. A couple of weeks ago I saw Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked. I couldn’t find in myself the inclination to tell you about it, or even that I’d seen it. But then yesterday I had a dreamy day about Newcastle with the wonderful Kate Chandler and we came to a point where we needed to choose between watching Begin Again and Boyhood. Did we make the right decision? Probably, but I can’t be sure because we didn’t see Begin Again.
Anyway, after my underwhelming intro let me tell you why you, like us, might choose to spend £5-10* on a ticket and go and see this flick on the big screen. It’s a really interesting film, mainly because of how it’s been made. A coming of age-type story about a boy called Mason and his life from 5-18. It’s been shot over 12 years using the same actors to play him and his family.
I expected to have a good weep in the film, but only got a damp left eye in one part. It was a nice part in a restaurant with a latino gardener, but definitely a minor moment and in no way part of the main plot. However it wasn’t the storyline that made the film lovely, so much as the humanity of it; the unfolding of life over childhood and adolescence, and the simultaneous and combined stories of Mason’s family.
I’d give this film a particular recommendation to youth workers, parents, and young adults who might enjoy that ‘coming of age’-self identity exploring genre. The Dawson’s Creek generation. I’m pretty sure you could also do some interesting reflecting on it with young people, although I think it would need some thought and careful consideration beforehand because of some difficult themes that come up (such as domestic violence) and it also glorifies drug taking more than I’d prefer.
Let me give you a pre-viewing warning that the film is long. Not boring, but it is 2hr45 mins PLUS trailers and adverts (which we missed to be honest). Whilst I did bring a ham and egg pie for sustenance, I forgot to have a pre-movie wee, and whilst I do have the spiritual gift of being able to hold on for a long while, I did find a toilet break was necessary. I opted for the moment around 16 while Mason was having quite a formative and reflective conversation with his dad, Ethan Hawk.
Something else that made the experience great? A pre-cinema coffee in the Settle Down café in Newcastle. Another recommendation that I may blog about. And look at Kate’s smile! I must be great company. Other films that I look forward to seeing and maybe even viewing are the Monty Python (Mostly) Live broadcast at the Gala that I’m seeing TONIGHT and Mood Indigo because Amelie’s in it.
*£3 if you go to the Empire at Sunderland on a Tuesday AND you can sit in the leather seats. But I wouldn’t recommend that in this humidity.