Upon first blush Summer Night may have the feeling of an aimless and lackadaisical coming-of-age tale, and to be frank there is a certain charm within the space. Director Joe Cross’ debut feature thankfully goes much deeper sans the heavy handed message, leaving us with an easygoing yet ultimately memorable tale.
Growing up a Gen X baby, my indelible memory of John Cusack is his ghetto blaster, serenading Ione Skye with “In Your Eyes” moment in Say Anything. But sometimes the hero becomes the villain, and I’m pumped to see Lloyd Dobler turn evil with Blood Money. The film, starring Boyhood’s Ellar Coltrane, Willa Fitzgerald, and Jacob Artist, hits Blu-ray and DVD December 19. Details below!
Boyhood, director Richard Linklater’s magnum opus of a young child’s (Ellar Coltrane) subtle journey of self-discovery, was named Best Picture of the Year by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA).
“Originality was honored in this year’s awards from LAFCA, with several prizes going to Richard Linklater’s twelve years in the making Boyhood, and other important awards for the imaginative Grand Budapest Hotel, the groundbreaking cinematography of Birdman, and the tour de force performance by Tom Hardy in Locke,” said LAFCA president Stephen Farber. “Our group again honored a range of films from around the world and an impressive array of emerging and veteran talents.”
The 40th annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards takes place Saturday, January 10 at the Intercontinental, Los Angeles.
Below is a list of the winners:
Picture: Boyhood (Runner-up: Grand Budapest Hotel)
Director: Richard Linklater, “Boyhood” (Runner-up: “The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson)
Actor: Tom Hardy, “Locke” (Runner-up: Michael Keaton, “Birdman”)
The oft-used term “film gods” blessed the Boyhood production in manifold ways, and considering director Richard Linklater and his crew devoted over 12 years of their lives to this epic storyline, a bit of positive karma was thankfully part of that experience. A portion of that goodwill was also generated by America’s national pastime.
Boyhood centers on a boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as he navigates his way through the pains and joys of childhood to eventually become an introspective and insightful teenager. His path is met with its share of heartache, which includes witnessing the failed relationships of his mom (Patricia Arquette) and the Peter Pan complex ridden behavior of his well intentioned dad (Ethan Hawke). Lorelei Linkater, the director’s daughter, plays Mason’s sister Samantha. Clocking in at 164 minutes, Linklater
During Boyhood’s press conference, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater talk about how a bit of luck and good timing aided the production. During one year, Hawke had to catch a plane right after shooting a bowling sequence in Boyhood, and if he missed the flight it would have led to horrible repercussions for another project he was working on.
For Linklater, he was more than thankful when he a Jason Lane homer (while Lane was with the Houston Astros) made it into Boyhood. That father and son baseball bonding moment was turned into a truly exciting turn of events thanks to that fortuitous Astros dinger.
“The biggest luck of all, in a lot of ways, was Lorelei and Ellar,” said Hawke. “Their contribution – we could have never predicted.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Linklater and Ethan Hawke talk about the “film gods” that blessed Boyhood (Arquette is also heard in the clip) .
In anticipation of director Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood,” my neurotic mind drifts to last year’s “Before Midnight” press conference. The “Before” stories, which detail the lifelong romance between Jessie (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) bears a spiritual kinship to “Boyhood,” a project Linklater shot from 2002 to 2013.
Clocking in at 160 minutes, “Boyhood” gives us a peek into the life of Mason (Ellar Coltrane), the son of divorced parents (Hawke and Patricia Arquette). As the trailer suggests, we see Mason (and Coltrane)grow before our very eyes. Although it’s a one shot film and “Before” may be ongoing series, both narratives deal with our relationship to aging.
My favorite Jackson Browne album moniker is “Time the Conqueror,” and such a concept may be applied to Linklater’s work. For better and worse, the years do have an affect on our collective spirits, and it’s what we do with that time that truly matters.
Humanity’s ever expanding scope and reach serves as Richard Linklater’s creative canvas, and don’t expect the director to work with anything less, even if his films don’t pack ’em in like some bloated, nonsensical, summer blockbuster.
“We do have this small audience in mind when we get to a crossroads and we think, ‘Oh well, cinema, storytelling language says if this plus this equals an unlikable character then you just don’t do it,'” said Linklater during the ‘Before Midnight’ interviews. “We think, ‘well that’s a construct, that’s not really real. It’s the narrative, storytelling bubble (that) cinema exists in.'”
Click on the media bar below to hear Linklater explain why movie lovers play an important part in the creative drive behind “Before Midnight,” and it’s a conversation that I’m sure can be applied to the aesthetics behind “Boyhood.”
Richard Linklater’s (Before Midnight,Bernie) ambitious feature Boyhoodis hitting U.S. theaters on July 11. The project, which Linklater shot from 2002 to 2013, covers 12 years of a family’s life, with much of the narrative seen through the eyes of a wide-eyed boy named Mason (Ellar Contrane). The project, which stars frequent Linklater collaborator Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater (the filmmaker’s daughter),and Patricia Arquette premiered to critical acclaim at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Linklater, who also produced the film, won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival. The project clocks in at 164 minutes, and if the movie is half as good as this sterling IndieWire assessment, then we may be in for a good one. After all, Linklater’s continued link to our youthful desires and drives (Slacker, Dazed and Confused, The Waking Life, the Beforefilms, Me and Orson Welles) originate from a completely inspired place, and one assumes Boyhoodcould be his crowning achievement.
In the clip below, Julie Delpy talks about what makes Richard Linklater such a unique filmmaker (her comments are in relation to Before Midnight’s opening sequence):