REVIEW: Boyhood

Best-Boyhood

Boyhood
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Written by: Richard Linklater
Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater and Ethan Hawke

The last shot of Richard Linklater’s 1993 film Dazed and Confused is the open road from the point of view of a high school senior-to-be. He’s one of the dozens of characters weaving in and out of that sprawling recreation of a single Texas day in 1976, maybe even the closest the movie has to a main character.  And like so many other characters in the movie, I remember things about him, and not his name (I had to look up that it was Randall).

I remember how he slings his arm around an incoming freshman and treats him like a little brother, and how that freshman’s wide eyes take everything in as he tries to figure out how to act cool around the big kids. Then there’s the moment where Randall “Pink” Floyd hangs out on a football field drunk and stoned with his friends, enveloped by the stars in the sky. His journey in the movie is deciding whether or not to embrace being labeled a slacker.

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REVIEW: Bernie

Bernie
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Written by: Richard Linklater and Skip Hollandsworth (screenplay)
Starring: Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey and Brady Coleman

Murder isn’t completely wrong when the person is unlikable, is it?  That grouchy old lady, who hisses at the idea of warm conversation and enjoys treating the world as if it owes her something; if she were killed, would anybody really care?

The people of Carthage, Texas cared.  Not for her (Shirley MacLaine), though, but her killer, her kind manservant Bernie (Jack Black).  Bernie is based on true events, just as almost every movie not based on a novel is.  The wonderful writer/director Richard Linklater is preceding, though, and he treats the truth as more than a novelty.

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