The movies of Richard Linklater have always had a kind of hit and miss effect on me. I loved the high originality of ‘Slacker’ all those years ago, Austin was the star of the show, with the kooky inhabitants the bit players.
The life journey of two individuals combined with the beautiful European settings of the ‘Before’ trilogy is wonderfully crafted. It took time for me to like ‘Dazed and Confuzed’.
The American mores and cultural institutions of its teenage cast did not really reflect my experiences growing up in Ireland. However, it’s got charm, heroes and villains, and a really fun 70’s rock soundtrack.
Other movies like ‘A Scanner Darkly’ and ‘Waking Life’ never did anything for me. Wordy nonsense for a subset of people calling themselves slackers, generation X-ers, hipsters, or whatever.
‘Boyhood’ is a fantastic movie. I did worry it might be a self-indulgent vanity project, a kind of American 7-UP documentary style record of US life, seen through the eyes of one individual, at various points in a life cycle.
Well, it is kinda like that. But brilliantly done. On all levels it works. It looks great. The soundtrack is great (and quirky), the protagonists are worth caring about, and the storyline, much like Dazed and Confused, has great characters of both low and high virtue.
I’ll not reveal the plot, but just say that the experiences felt by the characters throughout will no doubt resonate with us all. As a fan of movies, (I don’t get to see as many as I once did unfortunately), this is by far the best film I’ve seen in a long time.
Take a bow Mr. Linklater. This might be your magnum opus.