Other Movies Seen By This Director (12)
- Bad News Bears
- Before Midnight
- Before Sunrise
- Before Sunset
- Dazed and Confused
- Everybody Wants Some!!
- Fast Food Nation
- Me and Orson Welles
- A Scanner Darkly
- School of Rock
|02.10.15||Netflix|| It took me a while to finally sit down and watch this. Along with the critical praise I'd heard stuff like how long it was, how slow it was, and how nothing really happens. Not exactly a lite affair.|
So I really liked this a lot. Yes it's quite long (somewhere around when the kid hit a growth spurt I thought the movie was almost over only to check the time and find another 90 minutes ahead of me) and at first the unique method in which the movie was made (basically they shot a week every year for twelve years) felt like a gimmick to me but soon it became clear that the movie was just as much about time as it is about this family. Most of the scenes in this movie would be cut out of "normal" movies for being too plain or ordinary but in this movie these plain ordinary moments are given greater significance by their placement in time.
Patricia Arquette is good but it's really Ethan Hawke's performance that stands out to me. Granted, his part is a little more showy, getting to be the "cool" dad with his car and girlfriends but it's really his growth, both literal and figural, that's something unique and special. He also gets these really meaty "this is fatherhood" scenes with the kids whereas I think Arquette's role is more of a constant presence. You see her grow too but her story is kind of overshadowed by her surroundings. Which husband she's with, who her friends are, where she's living.
I do think that if the same movie were done with make-up then it wouldn't really work. Seeing the kids grow and the returning cast age is critical to making these mundane things work but shit, man. they WORK. So who cares.
Timely cues like music and fashion and world events also do a clear but subtle job of presenting the flow of time but it's on such a gradual scale that somehow makes it more interesting. We've seen movies flash ahead 20, 30 years to completely different eras but to slide into the next year then the next then the next and realize that there were still singular events that defined that year is really cool. And the plot succumbs to time as well. You'll see a scene like with the bullies in the bathroom or the high schoolers in the unfinished house... normally those scenes would have some expository or plot-related purpose and I did catch myself feeling like "oh this is where the disaster's gonna strike" but then they are gone just like childhood friends in a city you moved away from or a husband you want nothing more to do with.
I DO wish they had somehow found their way back to the tunnel at the very beginning of the movie and showed the graffiti from the first scene at the end of the movie. That would've been cool. Maybe they'll do that the next time someone spends a dozen years making a movie.
Anyway, I've gone on about this one enough. I was pretty surprised by how much I liked it.
same liquor store clerk as Dazed