Probably only a handful of times in my life have I left a movie theater saying, “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
Happened at “Schindler’s List.” Happened at “Avatar.” Maybe a few others, like when I saw “Return of the Jedi” as a kid.
Walking out of the theater Saturday afternoon with my wife, I concluded I’d never seen anything like “Boyhood,” the new Richard Linklater flick that literally every major critic in America has raved about (“Boyhood” has a 99 percent fresh rating on rottentomatoes.com).
Go see this film if it comes anywhere within 60 miles of you (Here’s a list of everywhere it’s playing and now, and where it’ll be soon).
Fight traffic, hire a babysitter, use whatever means you have: go see this film. It’s extraordinary. Linklater spent 12 years on it, filming the same actors for a few days a year, and the movie is simply incredible to behold: The story of a family, specifically a 6-year-old boy who grows into an 18-year-old man. Ethan Hawke is superb, so is Patricia Arquette, and the star, young Mason, is played by Ellar Coltrane to perfection.
There are no dramatic plot twists, no explosions or car crashes, no incredible revelations (Even Linklater said that when studio execs ask him what happens in the movie, he replied “Not much.”)
It’ simply the story of life, and the most realistic depiction of adolescence in any movie I’ve ever seen. The little triumphs, the little heartbreaks, love, loss, a great soundtrack… it’s all here in a 2 1/2 hour film that positively flies by.
I really, really hope that because it’s being released in the summer it doesn’t get overlooked at Oscars time, because I’ll be stunned if I see a better movie this year.
Man, it was so good. I may just spend 12 bucks and see it again this week.
**Next up, I love photo essays like this one that show you places you’ve probably never seen before. The website GlobalCitizen.org has compiled 16 photos of different classrooms from around the world (the one above is from Malawi).
Two things struck me immediately upon looking through them: 1, American teachers who complain about class size should look at these pics; the one from Cambodia must have 65 kids in it!
And two, the look on these kids faces proves that in education, some things universal: Several kids look bored, several look excited, and several are just goofing off. Kids are kids, whereever you go.
**Finally today, I haven’t written here about LeBron James’ decision to return to Cleveland, the biggest sports story of this or most years, because it happened on a Friday, I don’t blog over the weekend, and by Monday it seemed like everything that had to be said, had been said.
I think it’s a fantastic move for him, his SI letter (crafted with the immensely talented Lee Jenkins) was mature and heartfelt, and the sports fans of Cleveland sure as hell deserve some good news.
So like I said, most everyone has weighed in on this, but I read this over the weekend and it was quite different, because the author was quite different. Longtime readers of mine might remember me raving about an essay in Esquire three years ago written by a Cleveland dockworker and part-time writer named John Hyduk; dude was eloquent, touching and deeply affecting for anyone, much less someone who spends eight hours a day loading soda in a beverage warehouse.
(P.S.: I also wanted to write something about LeBron so I could put up that amazing illustration of him, done by Robert Carter for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. How incredible is that?)