I’m really knocking out the Richard Linklater films the past few weeks! I love most Linklater films, but his coming of age stuff (by which I largely mean Dazed and Confused) can fall flat for me, so I went into Boyhood with hopes but also fears. Of course I also knew the shot-over-12-years gimmick, and worried that it would be just that, a gimmick.
And to some degree it is – I mean, a lot of this is pretty standard kid-growing-up stuff, from the struggling single mom to sibling conflict, to the new stepfamily and that turning rotten, to fun weekends with dad, to raging hormones and acting out. Ellar Coltrane does mumble through the teenage years a bit, but I mean, that’s pretty accurate to most of the teenage boys I know. The film is necessarily episodic as we drop in on this kid’s life every three or four years and see what’s going on – we hit the high dramatic points (the biggest climax is about halfway through when stepdad turns violent and they leave in a hurry – I was glad the kids had at least a passing concern for the stepsiblings they left behind, because I was crazy worried about them, but we never found out what happened to them, probably because our family didn’t either).
In a way, this is kind of a gimme recommendation – Before Sunrise, the first movie in this trilogy, is my #156 and in the 96th percentile of my Flickchart, and while I don’t like Before Sunset as much as many people, it’s still solidly in my Top 1000 at 80%. It’s probably a given that I would like Before Midnight, and really, I’m surprised I hadn’t gotten around to it already. Good news for Ryan, though, as he gets to rack up a definite win with me.
The third part of the Richard Linklater-Ethan Hawke-Julie Delpy Before trilogy resolves the ambiguity of the end of Before Sunset – Jesse and Celine DO get back together after nine years of being apart, and now they’ve been together for nine years, have twin daughters, and are living in Paris but currently finishing up a summer in Greece. That helpfully gives the movie a beautiful location to add to the Paris of the Part 2 and Vienna of Part 1. But like the others, Before Midnight is really a series of extended conversations between Jesse and Celine, and sometimes a few other people.
This has been a long time in the works. Even after I decided to just go with picture instead of blurbs and the whole bit, it still took me like two weeks to put together. Lots of interruptions lately. The baby is crawling, and she has the best cord-finding radar I’ve ever seen. Anyway. Not a lot of films watched the past few months, but a good variety, I think. Unsurprisingly Joss Whedon comes out on top.
What I Loved
Much Ado About Nothing
The World’s End
New record set again! Twenty-six movies this month. I love vacation time. And having awesome libraries around. And art-house theatres. After the jump, reactions to No Country for Old Men, Cars, Rushmore, Flags of Our Fathers, Slacker, The Squid and the Whale, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Underworld: Evolution, The Black Dahlia, MirrorMask, Juno, Notes on a Scandal, Interiors, The Illusionist, Mass Effect, Gears of War, and others.