Cool concept of the transitions in life but was too bland.
This definitely is a breakthrough in cinematic film, but I guess I just don’t have what it takes to appreciate it. Filmed over twelve years with the same cast definitely sets it apart from other movies, however the story pretty much dried out for me. Maybe it”s because the story is about everyday, ordinary life and about a boy growing up that made it so bland. We all pretty much know what’s that like, having lived through life ourselves, so I didn’t really need to watch a movie about it.
The film follows Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and his family; consisting of sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), the Mom (Patricia Arquette), Dad (Ethan Hawke) among others who appear throughout the film as he grows up. That’s basically the premise of the film, with a bit of drama added in to maybe resemble a ‘typical’ or ‘stereotypic’ American family life. The mother starts off being a single parent with their dad absent for most of their childhood, and then the mother finds love elsewhere and so it continues. It got a bit repetitive after awhile and the film being three hours long, lost my interest near the end.
As I said, it’s pretty cool that they filmed this over 12 years, but the acting of the main cast was too expressionless and especially Coltrane, he just seemed like a kid who didn’t do anything or cared about anyone, so I don’t really know what the deal with that was. The other actors and actresses were pretty all right, not as bland as Coltrane (or how his character is supposed to be), but it was just pretty average overall. Ethan Hawke was the only actor who brought some life to his character as well as to the film.
It’s just a bit disappointing to me that they didn’t do more with this. Following the same cast for 12 years, there’s no opportunity for retakes after they grow up, so I guess in that sense they did plan it really well and it was well edited. However, they could have done more with it. It just feels to me that this shouldn’t even be a movie, it’s kind of like a documentary.
Overall, the first half wasn’t too bad, but the film went on for too long and I gradually lost interest. If they cut it down maybe 1/2 and hour it might have been a lot better, plus the ending left me wondering why I watched this in the first place.
PROS: Concept of filming over 12 years, Ethan Hawke
CONS: Story/plots, bland acting/characters, ending
I give this a 6/10.
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