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Movie Review: Boyhood (Spoilers Version)

Directed by:Richard Linklater
Starring:Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke

Plot: Boyhood follows the life of a young boy named Mason from the time he is five to when he is seventeen. Mason is a young boy living with his mother and sister, Samantha. While his mother tries to put herself through school to get a better paying job, Mason and Samantha have to start over and over because of constant moving due to their mother's work or new relationships. Their father is involved with their life, but he is unable to provide the stability that they need when he only sees them a few weekends and a few weeks during the summer. As Mason struggles with adolescence, he learns the hard lessons that comes with being a child of a single parent.

Breakout Performer/Character: Without a shadow of a doubt, Patricia Arquette as the mother really sticks out. As a mother struggling to raise her children the best way she knows how, Arquette shows vulnerability and emotion that brings sympathy for the character without stealing the focus of the film.

What I Liked: For me, the best thing about the film was Patricia Arquette. I also have to admire the dedication and commitment that went into this film since it was filmed over a period of 45 days but stretched out to 12 years. There's no doubt that Richard Linklater, the director, has talent and skill.

What I Didn't Like: Two things bothered me. First, I did not find any empathy for the main character. In fact, I felt he kind of dragged the film down. There were so many times that he would get a strong talking to, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears. It bugged me that the character was so detached from his own life that he didn't seem to care what happened one way or the other. This made me feel that the main character was just wasting my time. Second, I felt like the movie lacked a plot other than telling the story of the main character's life over 12 years. It felt like just when something was actually happening, the director wrapped it all up very quickly without giving the viewer a sense of closure. There were several moments in the film where it needed something to complete a story point that would have made it better.

Would I Recommend Seeing It: Yes, with the warning that if you are looking for a movie that will keep you entertained or invested in the story, then you aren't going to like this movie very much.

Over all, I applaud the director for his vision and for doing something risky, but I felt the movie was too long, lacked direction, and while the supporting cast put in some good award-getting performances, it was diluted by a main character that didn't seem to care about anything and dragged his feet through life as just another emotionless stoner.

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