Boyhood: A Non-Traditional Movie About Growing up

Greetings all, it has been 6 months (wow, time flies) since my last blog post. I did manage to post a Medium article on student loans and have posted short facebook status updates but haven’t been “writing” as much. I have, however been doing lots of reading, and listening to podcasts, and taking in all of this media has inspired me to get back to blogging. I also came to the realization that I was putting off more blog posts because I was worried that they would suck, and frankly the first ones have and I’m sure the nexgt 5, 10, 20, or 50 will as well, but I will never get better at written communicaiton if I don’t at least give it a shot and so here it goes (again):

Boyhood is an extremely fascinating movie, that is basically about “nothing.” What I mean here is that the movie doesn’t really follow the traditional story arc of background-build up- climas – end. Boyhood is flimed to mimic real life about a boy growing up. This means that there aren’t necessarily traditional build-ups because that’s typically not how problems and events happen in real life. One of the ways you can tell that the movie was intended to be realistic was that it was shot 3 days at a time, over the course of 12 years. Another way is that the director uses many close up camera angles and there typically is not a lot of visual clutter in the scenes to help convery a sense of simplicity.

While the lack of a traditional story arc can be confusing at first, and the ending will most likely frustrate you (spoiler alert: the movie just ends with casual talking), it does make for a great film because it bucks tradition and provides a very intimate look at the life of a boy “Mason” goriwng up in the United States. The film explores what it means to grow up as a boy in American society, specifically touching on the issues of masculinity, alcoholism, identity, and relationships with fathers. The movie brings the first three issues to light by highlighting issues that Mason has with his father and numerous setpfathers. The movie does this through different stepfathers dealing with different issues with Mason. his first stepfather is an alcoholic, the second stepfather confront Mason about his choice of wearing earrings and painting his nails, and eventually we see Mason’s real father mature and change his identity. The movie doesn’t really seem to judge whether Mason’s decisions were right or not. I think that is allows different viewers of the movie to interpret it in different ways, depending on what appeals to them and even how they grew up and think this is one of the reasons the movie is so good.

Overall, I would recommend this movie to anyone who doesn’t mind a movie that bucks a traditional story arc, and that is pretty slow and easy going. The movie itself is a little over 2 hours long and can feel long at times but does a great job of cinematically looking at everyday life of a boy growing up in the United States.


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