After reading the positive reviews of Boyhood and hearing all the hype about the way it was filmed, my expectations for this movie were high..too high. I expected to be moved, to be invigorated, to enjoy all three hours worth of the material. Instead, I wound up falling asleep twice during the movie, which literally NEVER happens to me.
Once you get past the initial awe of a project that required this amount of time and effort to film, what you're left with is disappointment that this much time and effort resulted in what appears to be a bad reality show containing little to no plot. Honest Trailers says it best.
If the film has a saving grace, it lies in the moments that Patricia Arquette is on screen for two reasons: 1.) The role had some actual depth. 2.) Arquette looked like an ordinary person. I found myself wondering what this movie would have been like if more of the focus would have been placed on her journey as a mother rather than on her son's coming of age experience. Her journey from struggling single parent, to battered wife, to successful college professor, to disillusioned and depressed divorcee is one of the most multi-dimensional roles in film I've seen for a woman this year, which is pretty depressing. Because of the way the movie was filmed, viewers were able to watch Arquette's body change along with her lot in life. These changes made her seem like a "real woman" and not a Hollywood actress, which in turn, made her character seem realistic.I believed that this woman had seen dark days. I believed that she had given birth to these kids. I believed that her experiences had aged her in both positive and negative ways. Despite the diverse role and body type, this film would not pass either the Bechdel or the Representation test. The only scenes with multiple women talking are those where they are trying to determine how best to manage their alcoholic dad/ husband.
Overall, the movie left much to be desired. Like Arquette I found myself disillusioned by the story's end, wondering how so little happened in such a great length of time. I give it 1 bag of popcorn.