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Although its reception at Sundance was kind of mezzo mezzo, there is no doubt that Richard Linklater’s Boyhood has the stuff to become one of the nine by year’s end. There are several factors that will contribute to this but the top of the list would be Linklater’s dedication to the project.  Indiewire’s Erik Kohn calls it an “unprecedented achievement in fictional storytelling.”  Starting in 2002, Boyhood tracks a child as he comes of age. His parents, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke are divorced and both play significant parts in the film.

The film is already setting itself up as a favorite among many film critics who’ve seen it, though its subtlety and careful construction requires more careful viewing and consideration than the usual chew it up and spit it out process of the Oscar race, particularly in the early phases of it.

Nonetheless, given the reviews, the subject matter, and Linklater’s own uncelebrated career thus far, it seems to me like it could be not just one of the nine but perhaps one of the five Best Directing nominees.

As a side note: I wish for a female director out there to think about this film and maybe make a corresponding film called “girlhood.”

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  • Dre

    “Girlhood” really? That’s a joke right?

  • Bryce Forestieri

    “Although its reception at Sundance was kind of mezzo mezzo”


    My impression was that it was nearly universally raved at the festival, like, I don’t know 33 out every 34 critics.

  • moviewatcher

    ^What Bryce said. Boyhood has gotten unqualified raves out of every festival screening.

  • Josh

    …and although only nine reviews in on Metacritic, it’s sitting at 93/100 with 4 100/100

  • Charles

    Can a movie just be good without having to be about your obsession with gender? It’s getting hard to read this site as it becomes less and less about films and awards and more about confirmation bias.

  • Tony

    Saw it last night at a WGA screening in LA. Thunderous applause from the whole audience. Haven’t seen the WGA this enthusiastic, and many just seemed were happy to see something *this* good after the Jan-June lull. Can’t remember the last movie I cared so god-damn much about every character…except…oh, the BEFORE series. Patricia Arquette’s last scene was particularly moving. Hope she gets some recognition for this incredible work. Linklater should call it “Patricia Arquette-hood” if anything.

  • Tony

    On that note, Sasha, do you think Patricia Arquette would submit under Supporting? Smart idea.

  • Philipp

    I saw it two days ago and all I can say is, it is fantastic. What a marvel, what a wonderful movie, what a life affirming experience. It is definitely on my Top 10 list altough there are six months to go. With or without awards: Boyhood is for the ages.

  • mileshigh

    Sasha brings up an interesting point with GIRLHOOD. The press day at SXSW was all male bloggers and journalists. Typically the gender of the journalists was evenly split for all the other roundtable interviews. All men for BOYHOOD (almost 20 during my session). Someone even made a joke about it. Patricia Arquette is stunning and grows into a strong female character. Gender preference aside, this movie is a masterpiece! People will champion BOYHOOD all year and during Oscar season.

  • david

    I think boyhood is a legitimate best picture contender. Another movie if it gets distribution that I think will have a legitimate shit at a best picture nomination is ‘The Toy Soldiers’ the performances our fantastic check it out if it gets distribution

  • Sasha Stone

    Yes, Kenny, the film writers, bloggers and critics are always majority-male. Always. Hoping Boyhood is universal and that Girlhood would be too.

  • murtaza

    No female director will dedicate her 12 years making Sasha’s Girlhood, but even if any male or female director makes it, please be it something more than what Nymphomaniac was.

  • Kane

    Murtaza, how do you know what a female filmmaker will and won’t do? If you didn’t know, Linklater only spent maybe a week per year on this movie.

  • Kane

    I also agree that most articles on here make it more about gender bias than the product deserves to be. But I would absolutely love to see a “Girlhood” movie. Men and women experience childhood in a very different way.

  • Travis

    The Houston Film Critics Society was fortunate enough to show this film a month before its theatrical bow (thanks to IFC Films) to a packed audience at Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park.

    Needless to say, it was met with strong applause when it concluded, and those who find it upon its release this July will see some great counter-programming this summer.

    And Patricia Arquette shows that in a summer full of superheroes that sometimes the best superhero is a mom.

  • Tony

    Well said Travis! Arquette’s perf was truly the heart of the film. I think the title could have been Parenthood/Childhood/it’s not male centric. Please don’t make the movie’s title more of an issue than it deserves to be, lol.

  • Joao Mattos

    I want to understand a few things about this movie. To fully enjoy the work, isn’t the viewer 100% dependent on the knowledge of it basic premise? Something that is previous of the fruition itself. I mean since is an art movie, for sure that most of the potential spectators will se the trailer, read the reviews, know the Internet buzz, before entering the screen room.
    But there are always what I call “accidental tourists” people that, from a vast number of weird reasons, will eventually see a movie (or a play, etc) with little or no knowledge whatsoever about what they will see.
    This people will: a) Understand the movie? b) Whitout knowing, like the others?
    By the way: the opening credits explain the concept of “Boyhood”?

  • Drood

    But does IFC really have the mojo to pull off major nominations? Throughout their history they’ve landed a handful of nods for some of their films in categories such as screenplay and foreign language film but they’ve never been a major force. If CBS couldn’t get AMPAS to recognize “Inside Llewyn Davis” I doubt that this outfit will be much more successful in competition with the majors (and their boutiques)…

  • Mark

    Did you know that Lars von Trier began shooting a movie that was to be spread to the next 20 years, shooting 5 minutes of material every year? Jean Marc Barr was the lead. Unfortunately, he gave up on it after 10 years or so.

  • Jon

    Enters the Oscar race!?! Come on guys I love you to pieces at Awards Daily but this film has been in the race from the moment it debuted at Sundance. This – in my opinion – is one of the very, very, very few films (along with Foxcatcher) that has a legitimate shot at winning best picture. And I will put money down on Linklater not only getting nominated for Director (he is very well respected and has only been nominated for writing) but has a very, very good chance at winning. What he accomplished is simply remarkable in terms of the feat alone, the fact that he accomplished it and the final result is apparently a masterpiece makes me think a win for him is very, very realistic.

  • MWA

    Patricia Arquette is in the race for sure, as is this film for picture, director, screenplay,and editing.

    It will likely win: picture, director, actress (or should Arquette be supporting?)

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