Oscar Inspirations: Boyhood worth three-hour journey

81st Academy Awards® Press Kit ImagesBy: Malcolm Musoni

Somewhere between December and the end of the year I made a deal with myself that I would try and watch all of the movies that were going to be nominated for various awards since it was awards season. It’s been maybe a month and a week since I made that pact to myself, and, due to my immense procrastination, I’ve only watched two movies out of the 10 or so that have been getting the media spotlight: Boyhood and Selma. After I watched Selma I made up my mind right then and there that this was the movie that deserved every best director award for the season; that all that changed once I watched Boyhood.

I had steered away from watching Boyhood because it was three hours long, and three hours is really a long time to sit down and watch one thing if you’re me, but last week on Tuesday I made up my mind that I was going to watch Boyhood no matter how long it took me. I would watch it and figure out exactly the hype. Though I had to watch it in segments where I could find the time over a span of six hours, I have to say it was maybe the greatest six movie watching hours of my entire life.

Boyhood takes the viewer through 12 years of the main character Mason’s (played by Ellar Coltrane) life. What makes it so excellent is that the director Richard Linklater took 12 years to shoot this movie so we could get a realistic view of the characters growing up during those 12 years.

You see and can relate to all the changes that Mason is going through from elementary school to when he’s about to leave for college. Mason fights with his sister, he goes through his “emo goth” phase, he tries drugs, he gets that talk from his teacher about reaching his full potential and he falls in love for the first time. Everything that we experience as teenagers going through the motions of wanting to be heard and wanting to be understood is shown in this movie.

As a viewer my favorite part of the movie was watching his father really grow and mature to be the father that Mason and his sister really needed. At the beginning of the movie Mason’s father (played by Ethan Hawke) hadn’t been around and had been in Alaska really avoiding his parental duties, but as the movie goes on you see him try to be around more and start to really take care of his children and even get married and have his own. I think that character growth from his father and the other characters in the movie help to really illustrate the complexity of growing up.

The movie is called “Boyhood,” but it’s not just about the boy Mason; it’s about everyone around him growing up as well and how (little) he reacts to the pains of truly growing up. Mason is a very simple character who takes a very easy way through life. It’s his father and his mother who really shine as complex characters as the movie takes you through their roles in the journey of entry to adulthood.

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