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Entries in Boyhood (32)

Friday
Aug162019

Posterized: Where'd ya go with Richard Linklater?

by Nathaniel R

Richard Linklater directing Cate Blanchett on the set of "Where'd Ya Go, Bernadette?"

Richard Linklater, who burst on to the indie film scene as the voice of the "Slacker" generation, has had quite an eclectic career all told. He's made 19 theatrically released narrative features of a wide variety of genres and been instrumental in launching new stars (Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey, and Miranda Cosgrove) or adding significant lustre and awards notices to other filmographies (Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Jack Black and Patricia Arquette chief among that list). The Austin-based filmmaker's latest is the adaptation of the best-seller Where'd Ya Go Bernadette. Cate Blanchett stars as the artist in self-imposed exile. 

Linklater's films have ranged from perfect gems to little seen oddities, director for hire gigs, weird and funny larks, remakes, misfires, and ambitious personal projects. How many of them have you seen? All 19 posters are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep302015

Ellar Coltrane and the Burden of the Iconic Role

Kieran, here. Ellar Coltrane, the boy at the center of Richard Linklater's much heralded Boyhood has landed his next role, a supporting part in The Circle, an adaptation of Dave Eggers' novel about privacy paranoia in the age of social media. Tom Hanks is already attached to star in the thriller, which will be directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now). Coltrane will reportedly play Emma Watson's boyfriend who wants to go off the grid, out of the grasp of the eponymous Circle (which is not, repeat NOT Google). That's kind of funny, considering Mason's somewhat self-conscious, adolescent arrogance screed against social media and smart phones in Boyhood

The Spectacular Now suggested that Ponsoldt has a gift for pulling great performances from young actors, stretching our imaginations as to what they're capable of. Can he do that again for Ellar Coltrane?

Let me just say that I was an enthusiastic fan of Boyhood and I quite liked Coltrane in it. Er...maybe that's an entirely honest appraisal of my feelings about Coltrane's performance. I thought the movie acquitted itself well while working around a performance with very clear peaks and valleys. Coltrane's doe-eyed befuddlement works really well in certain key moments of the film, as when he witnesses the domestic abuse inflicted on his mother. That same blankness (and the role of Mason does require him to be somewhat blank) tends to fail him in moments when he's expected to communicate a clear persepctive, like the aforementioned scene where he's railing against Facebook. I didn't leave Boyhood with a clear idea of his acting chops in either direction. Boyhood was such a specialized project in conception and execution that it's hard to extrapolate how someone might perform beyond that. (Especially with very little frame of reference. Other than a very brief appearance in Fast Food Nation, Coltrane hasn't appeared in anything else.)

Are you curious to see what we get from Coltrane going forward?

From Quinn Cummings (The Goodbye Girl) and Justin Henry (Kramer vs. Kramer) to more recent examples of Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense) and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) it's rare that young actors who have their debuts or breakthroughs in heralded projects go on to have careers that match that initial acclaim. One can certainly debate the merits of each (and my opinion ranges from very warm to very cold), but these famous examples all demonstrate that it can be very hard to crawl out from under the weight of a culturally resonant breakthrough performance. 

Sunday
Feb222015

Last Pre-Oscar Link Roundup!

Best Picture & Oscar Mania
Nicks Flick Picks preferences and predictions
Variety how to watch the Oscars online
Salon on the Birdman vs Boyhood battle for Hollywood's soul
Guardian on Ida and Leviathan's troubles at home as they head to the Foreign Film Oscar decision
NY Post goes out on a clickbait limb and predicts American Sniper for the Best Picture win
Disqus on which Best Pictures people are talking about in which states. Chart and graph madness!
Slant Eric Henderson has finally convinced me that Birdman is winning Sunday night. I don't know why I've been so resistant to that idea? It just seems way too experimental and funny and weird to me to think of it as a Best Picture winner but I guess I have to adjust my thinking.
Slate how to accept an Oscar properly 
In Contention on the dead heat for Best Director 

and ICYMI
Our Final Predictions Podcast
Category Overview Towleroad Article
Film Bitch Awards Oscar Correlative Ballot ~ Nathaniel's Votes 

Meet the Movie Press
I guest-starred on this show yesterday (I come in at about 24 minutes but I'm sad I missed the discussion of Alien cuz I love me that slimy acid-blood franchise) just as I was crashing into miserable sickness. Good timing. You can watch it right here. Thanks to the @theinsneider and for having me on. We discuss Oscar predictions.

Off Oscar Miscellania
Pajiba 10 movies John Cusack's made recently that you've never heard of. Pajiba's Cusack obsession is always fun
Coming Soon Birdman has convinced Hugh Jackman that he should keep playing Wolverine until he dies. Say what?
/Film Scarlett Johansson will star in The Psychopath Test. The synopsis (very lengthy) suggests two major male characters so I'm not sure who she'll play. Perhaps the psychologist that gets the plot rolling before the men take over?
/Film Wonder Woman to shoot in the fall
The Film Stage Tom Ford finally has his follow up to A Single Man (2009) lined up or his follow-ups really. Continuing Hollywood's most hateful trend it's said to be a two-part film. Movie people stop. You are not television. The mediums are for different things and TV is where the longform stories are supposed to go. If you want to tell a long story that's where you belong. (People hated me for hating that movie but I'm eager to see his next because he does have an eye.)

 

Friday
Feb202015

Post Predictions Oscar Jitters

Do you think Oscar wishes he had more of a bubble butt?

Have you voted on our Oscar charts? It's your last day to vote for your PICTURE, DIRECTOR, ACTOR, ACTRESS, SUPPORTING ACTRESS, SUPPORTING ACTOR, and SCREENPLAY preferences. I'll announce the Reader's Choice winners tomorrow.

If you found my "final predictions post" here yesterday a bit baffling in its haphazhard order -- I'm always a mess on Oscar weekend -- I'd suggest reading my far more organized final take at Towleroad which reiterates all the arguments I've been making the past month but in a more \readable fashion. If you read this blog every day you already know what I'm expecting but naturally I'm having "I'll be so wrong!" jitters. I like being wrong, don't get me wrong (super predictable set in stone years are dull) but I don't like being too wrong. It's a fine distinction but an important one!

My Great Fear is that Grand Budapest loses two prizes I predicted it for (Makeup and Costumes) to inferior work (i.e. all of its competitors in those categories).

My Great Dream is that Michael Keaton surprises and takes Best Actor against the odds because it has been forever since we've had an "all fictional characters winning" years. 1997 to be exact when As Good As it Gets, LA Confidential, and Good Will Hunting provided a brief reprieve from the exhausting dominance of biopic mimicry. 

Everyone was applauding Shirley Booth in the 1952/1953 seasonMy Great Confusion is shared with all. No matter how I weigh it, I can't figure out the Birdman vs Boyhood situation. No matter what your feelings about either, you have to admit that they'd be atypical winners. Birdman is quite cerebral and weird and funny (none of which generally describe Oscar winners) and Boyhood is quite "small" and indie-feeling despite its epic 12 years in the making slant. So I remind myself that I love both of them and either will make a great Best Picture so let the chips fall where they may.

But in terms of the Academy both seem "soft" if you will. If people love Birdman so much why isn't Keaton the Best Actor frontrunner and if people love Boyhood so much why does Birdman keep winning guild prizes? I keep coming up with scenarios wherein the Best Picture wins only one other Oscar and that has not happened since The Greatest Show on Earth (1952). And never before that until you go back to the 1940 and earlier when they had far less categories than they have now. Only 2 Oscars for the Best Picture winner seems highly unlikely but then 1952 might be a magic coincidence film year since that was also the last year a woman in her fifties won Best Actress.

 

Wednesday
Feb182015

Podcast Pt 2: Oscar Predix Finale

In case you missed part one of this finale, that's here. Let's wrap up our final pre-Oscar prediction discussions: Joe pretends he's not an Inherent Vice fan, Nick sadistically hopes Imitation Game "gets Up in the Aired", and Nathaniel goes full blurb whore on Mr Turner

Oscar Prediction Finale Pt 2
41 Minutes

00:01 -Production Design & Costume Design. Into the Woods spurs dark memories and self parody. But can Grand Budapest actually win both and will Wes Anderson career tribute be the cause?
08:40 -Cinematography. Beautiful across the board
13:12 -Screenplays. Are these the two most difficult categories to predict? Consolation prizes, career tributes, or Best Picture heat?
21:45 -Acting Races. Whose running second behind Julianne Moore?
27:32 -Best Director & Best Picture. Who would we vote for and what about the Academy: will it be Richard Linklater and Boyhood or Alejandro G Inarritu and Birdman or some combo thereof. Either way long-standing theories of everything get disproven and the Academy gets dinged.
36:10 -Exit Game: Who would last year's winners vote for? We read the minds of Blanchett, McConaughey, Leto, and Nyong'o.
40:00 -Boyman Goodbye!

Supplemental Material for this Podcast:
Prediction Finale Part 1
Nick's Top Ten List (in progress)
Joe Reid ranks all 60 Oscar nominated films

Please to enjoy and continue the golden conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes.  

Oscar Prediction Finale Pt 2

Friday
Feb132015

Best Film Editing: Drums, Guns, or Twelve Years of "Boyhood"?

They call Editing the "invisible art" but when it comes to Oscar Watching each year, the prize is highly visible. Most pundits, armchair and professional, think of it as a bellwether. Everyone knows this one key stat: No movie has won Best Picture without an Editing nomination since Ordinary People (1980). But that stat is actually kind of misleading because it IS possible to win without an editing nomination and it's not even super rare. Birdman, should it triumph, would be the eighth film to do so... it used to happen about once a decade. Birdman's failure to get nominated in the category isn't particularly telling, if you ask me. Inarritu's technical gamble has very little visible editing given that the picture is a series of continuous shots stitched together in clever ways to appear to all be one thing.

The Nominees:

American Sniper - Joel Cox & Gary Roach
Boyhood - Sandra Adair
Grand Budapest Hotel - Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game - William Goldenberg
Whiplash - Tom Cross 

Should Boyhood lose the editing Oscar many people will be all "it's over, Birdman is winning!" but this isn't necessarily the case. In fact, Best Pictures only win this award about 50% of the time. Which is why this category feels up in the year. Any of the contenders could win: comedy doesn't win this category much (a pity since editing is so crucial to comic rhthyms) but Budapest feels like a real threat in all the craft categories; Boyhood could win on love for the film + respect for the time commitment but it's far less showily edited than the others and Oscar often wants to see your work;  If they want to honor American Sniper or The Imitation Game this could be the place for either with the ticking time bomb suspense that these former Oscar winners drum up; But speaking of drums... my bet is that Whiplash is the surprise winner here and I was going to make that call, I swear, before it won the BAFTA in this category. Whiplash's very masculine energies, focus on rhtymic intensity, and taut energy (despite repetitive scenes) are well served by this department. Bonus points for the editor's name being "Tom Cross". It's like an old fashioned stage name for a young movie star. It's just great. Well done, Mr & Mrs. Cross.

Will Win: Whiplash
Could Win: Boyhood
Should Win: Grand Budapest Hotel 

My ballot for this category