Boyhood (2014) doesn't really get going until it's over

by Banned Library in


There was a point while watching Boyhood when I stopped looking at my watch, but I can't tell you when that was. Clocking in at just over three hours and covering ten years of life, Boyhood works on many levels. That being said, I'll probably never see it again.

    We follow Mason from early childhood to his arrival at college. Every year, the filmmakers got the same actors together and filmed a little bit, sometimes following real events in the actor's lives. Mason has a few stepfathers, a girlfriend, friends, and in general we watch him grow up.

    I can't tell you exactly what I liked about this movie. The acting is effortless, from the main kid to Patricia Arquette to Ethan Hawke. The scenes are rather small vignettes in one life. Everything tracks and connects and feels so well done.

    Yet.

    I've gone on about how I love the Before trilogy. Three movies about nothing more than walking and talking made by the same director. Those fingerprints are all over the place here, but I found the first hour or so tedious. Possibly I had to get used to the subtle aging. Then he had me and I just watched from then on.

    A year or so ago I stopped smoking. I've always said I never quit, just stopped, because I'll smoke again. I know me. And it won't be the first cigarette that gets me back. Or the second. It'll be that third that finally has me set up and ready to enjoy to flavor after getting used to all the burning. That second hour of Boyhood is that third cigarette where you get used to the flavor and it just rolls over you.

    Boyhood takes time to get into and is a good ride. But I'll probably never watch it again because of the adjustment that first bit takes.