Part 1 contains minimal spoilers. Part 2 contains a lot of spoilers.
If you’re looking for your usual-sarcastic-Grace review, then you’ll probably be disappointed (sorry… kinda… not really).
Well, let’s begin.
Now that Oscar season is coming around, I’ve deemed it necessary to watch every film nominated for best picture in order to give you guys a comprehensive overview of who should win.
It seemed to be pretty close after the first three movies I watched (The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash). However, then I watched Boyhood.
When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I was skeptical. I thought it was going to be a regular run-of-the-mill life movie.
And, to be completely honest, I was right. But it was so much more.
Boyhood is based upon an absolutely original idea. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, everyone at this point knows that Boyhood was filmed over the course of 12 years, already making it an impressive feat.
However, filming across the span of 12 years gave the movie a completely unique feeling; you were growing up with the main character, Mason. At least for me, I felt as if I was watching my life being reflected in the main character. Out of all the movies I had ever seen, I had never once watched a movie that reflected life so well.
On a superficial level, the characters were incredibly complex and developed as any person would do. Less superficially, the format of a movie is almost perfect as a representation for life; it shows important moments and seemingly trivial moments through Mason’s childhood. Additionally, upon leaving the movie theater, you won’t remember everything that happened even if you want to; unfortunately, as is life.
Furthermore, throughout the movie, old characters keep popping up, and it’s simultaneously happy and heart-wrenching to see them again; you almost want to go back and rewatch the scene of the movie with that old character in it, but 1) you can’t and 2) even if you could, you wouldn’t really know where to look.
In addition, the movie bravely explored everything it could. The movie examined controversial topics, such as abusive parents and even the war in Iraq. The movie also explored the imperfections, the checkpoints, and the simple moments of life.
Overall, the movie is beautiful. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, you’d better watch it before it wins Best Picture in the Oscars.
This next section is for people who have finished the movie. You have been warned.
After I finished the movie, I was rather shocked to see that there were actually mixed reviews about it. Common complaints included “the movie was too long,” and “the ending was so abrupt.”
I was pretty disappointed by all these comments, but in the end, I can’t convince someone to like something he or she doesn’t like. However, I’ll provide my interpretation of the movie, and in particular, the end of the movie.
In my opinion, the true wrap-up of the movie begins with Mason leaving for college and his mom’s last speech in the movie, where she reminisces that her whole life has been checkpoints, and says, “I thought there would be more.”
I’ll admit, I cried when she said that.
(^this gif is legitimately scaring me.)
However, in quick succession, that scene was followed by two other, very important ones. The first one was Mason driving to his college, and stopping by a gas station to take pictures of simple things, like a broken lamp hanging on a tree.
Also my new favorite song was playing during that scene (listen to it): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHeK0Cwr9sg
In my mind, I thought that this scene, with subtle perfection, contrasted what Mason’s mother had said. Maybe life is made out of checkpoints, but it isn’t just made up of that: it’s made up of other moments as well. Mason’s photography demonstrates him capturing the “more,” the other moments in life.
In the final scene, Mason is talking to a girl about moments in life. The girl says that she believes “you don’t really seize the moment. The moment seizes you.” Mason responds with, “we’re always in the moment.” This nicely connects with Mason’s picture taking. In the end, the moments overwhelm us and all we can do is try to remember them.
The movie ends shortly after this, so I understand why people might think that the ending was abrupt.
I had two interpretations about this ending. The first one is life keeps on going, so there isn’t really an ending to anything.
The second one, however, I like better. Maybe the movie ends after the realization that “the moment seizes you,” because realizing that you can’t go chasing after moments, and rather, that you have to let the moments happen naturally, is when you truly become an adult.
But I don’t know. I’m just a teenager after all. 🙂