Getting out to see a film at a local indy theatre with some girlfriends this weekend was such a refresh. After reviewing the movie choices, settled on Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. Watching a film shot over a twelve-year period, about a character’s growing up, and witnessing this transformation on screen, seemed intriguing. True to the phrases parents often hear from older parents, “Enjoy them. They grow up so fast.” Yes, and now we have a movie to prove it. Very original concept.
The movie flowed from scene to scene, while playing a pretty good soundtrack. Taking the viewer on a life journey, not just of a boy, but of a family. Patricia Arquette performs the role of the mother, who begins her adult life with the challenge of having a baby and not a lot of resources. Throughout the story she is faced with critical choices that affect the health and well-being of her family, and she makes the ones she feels are best, given the circumstances. Something I imagine most parents can relate to.
Ethan Hawke, who plays the “wants to be more involved father” as the movie begins, seems to be an implausible, improbable role model for his children. And yet, over the course of the script, we see him mature into a decent father who provides an unlikely continuity in his children’s lives.
The movie follows the main character, Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, who grows up through tumult and change, chronicled from the age of six until young adulthood. As the story progresses, Mason comes into his own and one has a sense that despite the rocky episodes in his life, he will be okay. He will find his own way as he stays true to the things that matter to him.
Watching Boyhood’s twelve years compressed into two-and-a-half hours, was stirring, to say the least. As a parent it is hard not to sit and think about how our choices affect our children, how our parents’ choices affected us, and how important it is to stay present and engaged in the lives of our children. Because, all we really have are the moments. Fleeting, and gone. And then, what are we left with?