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Boyhood by MarkWShulkin

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Boyhood by MarkWShulkin

 

This is an amazingly skillful portrayal of the painfulness of adolescence as the director films (over a 12 year real time period) a child of six and his parents using the same actors as they age together. That length of time in the making of a movie is so unusual and novel that the film will attract many people to see it just for that. He squeezes those 12 years into two hours and 46 minutes which is long, especially for a movie lacking the usual story format of there being a crisis and its resolution with a happy, or at least meaningful, ending. As it turned out its insightfulness into adolescence makes it well worth seeing though I wouldn't care to see it a second time because that's a long time to sit and it drags a little bit in places.

Though there have been many movies about the woeful turmoil during that awkward age, (a theme of special appeal to me,) none compare with the sensitivity and details of this one. Adolescents, by the way, believe that you should never trust anyone over 30 because by that time people have forgotten the “normal insanity” of adolescence. But even if you're over 30 and have long forgotten the pain of your school years you can't help but be impressed by this young man's inner conflict about whether to comply with his parent’s and teachers’ demands that he be responsible, hard-working, and goal oriented or whether he should follow the uniqueness of his own dreams and interests that might be considered weird by other people.

One of the best scenes for me was when he expressed his thoughts to a girlfriend, (who wasn’t ready or able to hear them), about the robotic life that most people lead. Don't we all have a split personality in terms who we dream that we could have been and the compromises that we made in becoming who we really are? As I watched for almost three hours, I kept wondering how it was going to end. Instead of a “”happy ending” it ends with the boy as an i8 year old on the verge of a “new beginning”. What a truism! Even those of us over 30 still have the potential to live out our dreams and become the person we always wanted to be. Note: It hasn’t been released to theaters yet, I saw it on Amazon Instant Movies