If you needed any further confirmation of Boyhood‘s quick ascension from a “will it be out this year or not?” to critical and commercial hit, look no further than its’ entrance onto the largest meter of general audience consensus – the IMDB top 250. Richard Linklater’s 12 years in the making smash has stayed steady at 8.8/8.9 all year since its’ Sundance premiere, but until now, hasn’t fit the criteria to actually rank on the list. But today, that all changed, first appearing at #49, putting it around beloved films Apocalypse Now and The Departed.
Of course, the continuing overwhelming love makes me worried that the film, which is excellent, will eventually fall victim to hyperbole when the awards race rolls around. It’s not uncommon for a film that has a big, distinguishing quality and a lot of 5 star reviews behind it. It’s something that has already arisen sadly, in the form of a myriad of navel-gazing think pieces that I won’t elaborate upon here, debating its quality and critics approaches to reviewing it. In my upcoming review, I address the criticisms, saying that:
“This idea of being told to not say what moved me about a film, of being told how to review something? That’s something I have a serious issue with. I mean, I don’t know about you guys, but why do I review films? Because I love them. Because they touch my life. Because, to quote Brit Marling (because quoting Brit is always an excellent idea), they’ve “made the loneliness more bearable.” I’m not writing someone else’s opinion or a consensus in my reviews, it’s MY opinion. It’s what I, myself, with my 19 years of life, think about the film, what it says. And if that’s something deeply personal, that’s awesome.”
The awards season is notorious for ‘breaking’ a deserving, praised film (think Zero Dark Thirty back in 2012, my top film of that year. Once it had achieved a 95 on Metacritic the 1 star reviews started rolling in and the smear campaign began), and especially with Boyhood, one that has earned raves from its first screening and doesn’t have a traditional awards distributor (but thankfully has one of the best PR teams in the business on the campaign, the team that got The Hurt Locker Best Picture back in 2010, which was also a film that didn’t make $100 mil+, wasn’t from a strong distributor, and had a summer release), its something that is a very sad possibility. The awards season (more like 6 months of the year) officially kicked off with Telluride almost two weeks ago, and I am simultaneously incredibly excited and dreading it. Why? Because it could go one of two ways – Linklater, one of my favourite directors, a seriously underappreciated artist, could finally hit it big; or a beautiful, moving, incredible film is about to get kicked to the kerb.
Boyhood is currently in release in Australia. If you haven’t yet seen it, go do it. Please.