Boyhood: Worth All That Hype? (Spoilerish)

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood has been sweeping the awards so far this year, receiving many of the major awards.  But does it really deserve all that?  I’m really not sure.  I understand WHY it is getting rave reviews – filming one movie over the course of 12 years, chronicling the life of Mason from the age of six until he enters university is certainly “different,” and is also relatable to many, but the film also doesn’t have the “traditional” plot of introduction, climax and conclusion that practically every creative writing teacher has taught.  In fact, there’s no climax at all – just an introduction and an “end” – if you even call it that.

Boyhood trailer

I didn’t find anything exciting about the movie.  In fact, it was more predictable than a typical rom-com, especially for adults.  If you’ve gone through childhood and adolescence, you pretty much know what will happen.  And there really wasn’t much about Mason and his friends.  Sure, there were scenes of him hanging out with the “wrong” type of kids, but really, he and the guys were never really CAUGHT being bad.  I would have liked to see that.  I found it kind of unbelievable that he and the guys never got caught drinking underage or graffiti-ing public property.  The only “trouble” that appeared had to do with him coming home late (getting yelled at by his drunk stepfather) and caught in bed with his girlfriend by his sister’s roommate who looked really grossed out (why WOULDN’T she be?) when she arrived home find there.  I found that extremely unrealistic.  Really, couldn’t the writers have included SOMETHING?  I also kept on waiting for someone other than the mother (who had a series of abusive husbands) to get physically hurt.

What I *DID* like about the movie is how it showed the evolution of technology from the early 2000s to the 2010s such as the evolution of flip phones to smartphones.  There were were also pop culture references, including a scene where kids in costume were waiting for a Harry Potter book release.  Still, I’m not sure WHY it’s worth all the hype and awards, other than the WAY the story was filmed.  It’s about a kid’s life.  It’s a little nostalgic.  That’s pretty much it.   And as I said earlier, Mason didn’t even get into THAT much trouble.

About Cynthia Cheng Mintz


Cynthia Cheng Mintz is the founder and webitor-in-chief of this site and the petite-focused site, Shorty Stories. She has also written for other publications including the Toronto Star and has blogged for The Huffington Post. Her first novel, Aspirations, was published in 2007. Outside of writing, Cynthia researches and advises philanthropic ideas for family funds and foundations and also volunteers.

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Cynthia Cheng Mintz

Cynthia Cheng Mintz is the founder and webitor-in-chief of this site and the petite-focused site, Shorty Stories. She has also written for other publications including the Toronto Star and has blogged for The Huffington Post. Her first novel, Aspirations, was published in 2007. Outside of writing, Cynthia researches and advises philanthropic ideas for family funds and foundations and also volunteers.