I had my teen son for a weekend and just wanted to do something fun that we never do. There is a local indie film theater downtown and I offered a movie because he makes his own movies and edits them. So, we found, and agreed to try Boyhood.
This movie follows the life of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as he grows up over the course of 12 years. It’s not an action packed movie. But Richard Linklater, the director, captured the essence of moments in time that form who they (and we) become.
Through divorce, remarriages, coming of age moments, and household moves, Mason and his mom and sister navigate facing the ups and downs of life.
Although the Dad (Ethan Hawke) is on the periphery, the movie honors his roll, and his journey as well. Not very present in their lives, when he showed up, he loved really well and was engaged. (This actually made me sad, because it showed on many levels how great of a dad he could have been if he sorted himself and stayed with the family.)
In fact, when Linklater received the Golden Globe for Best Director, he said it was a movie “for all parents doing their best.”
I request all moms to see it because there is nothing else, except our own home videos, that capture the growing up years as profoundly as this movie does. Mason turns around in one scene and shows his face in the next and he’s literally older.
Some years he looks very different, other years he doesn’t physically appear older, but his character has changed and grown. It gives an incredible birds eye view of raising our kids, urging us to savor moments, look at them, and pay attention to them when it’s easier to let them grow up on their own.
The last scene with the mom, Patti Arquette, is profound. We understood clearly, she was balancing motherhood with her own life. However, in her final scene, the very visceral sense that she poured and invested into her children – and they were now leaving- sliced the screen. Okay. I cried. Just knee jerk reaction and cried. This is why I don’t watch movies. This is why my son doesn’t go with me.
The cast and crew got together for 12 years in a row to make it. The editing is phenomenal. The messages and heart behind the movie is giving us all a hug, a “keep going”, and a “you did your very best.”
Go to be encouraged, to question your own choices, to feel validated in your choices, and to know that we’re all literally just walking each other home.
(Boyhood also also won Golden Globes Best Picture, Drama and Best Supporting Actress, Drama for Patricia Arquette’s performance.)