Boyhood

The 87th Annual Little Golden Man Figurine Awards

Two weeks ago was the biggest night in music, but last night was the biggest night in movies. Obviously I got into the whole thought of award shows in my Grammy’s post. While researching for that post I found out the Academy Awards (a.k.a. the Oscar’s) are the most prestigious, most watched, and oldest awards given out in entertainment. If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you’ll know that I saw and wrote posts about 3 movies that were nominated for several Academy Awards (Boyhood, Whiplash, and Birdman). Each of those took home Oscars last night. Boyhood’s Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actress. Whiplash won 3 awards for Best Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons), Sound Mixing, and Film Editing (all well deserved). Birdman shared the top honor with most wins last night (with The Grand Budapest Hotel) with 4 awards including Cinematography (called it), Best Original Screenplay, Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu), and the coveted Best Picture.

In other big award moments of the night, Eddie Redmayne took home the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, and Julianne Moore won Best Actress for her role as a linguistics professor diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice. But like the Grammy’s, the Oscar’s are more than just an awards presentation. They’re a show, and there were some pretty notable moments to take from the show aspect. In my opinion, there was nothing quite as good as taking an epic selfie or delivering pizza to the audience, but still this year delivered in its own way.

John Legend and Common’s performance of “Glory” from the film Selma was incredibly moving. Lady Gaga slayed her performance which was an ode to Julie Andrews and the Sound of Music that was celebrating its 50th anniversary. Then there was host Neil Patrick Harris in his underwear. He pulled off the Birdman skit for sure. However to me, I think there were two other pretty fantastic and inspiring moments that happened.

The first was when Patricia Arquette was delivering her acceptance speech after receiving her award for Best Supporting Actress. Rather than just describing it, you can watch it here. What she said was so important for all women, but what was even more awesome was the way her message touched Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez. Both responded in such a way that indicated their support of what she said. The second was when Graham Moore received his Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game. His acceptance speech can be seen here. His message to “stay weird, stay different” definitely reached so many that watched. Those words were incredibly important for self-acceptance no matter who you are.

It seems more often than not, a lot of Oscar acceptance speeches touch on cultural issues in a way that speak to so many affected by these issues. The recipients seem so humbled by the tremendous honor and dedicate their achievement to those that have influenced them in some way shape or form. I mean I guess that’s typically how it goes with most awards, but I think with an Oscar it’s like the grand prize so the winners are much more grateful than with other award shows. Not that other awards don’t matter, but with the Oscar’s there’s a little something extra.

So with all the awards presented and the cast and creators of Birdman on stage accepting the award for Best Picture, the 87th Annual Little Golden Man Figurine (Academy) Awards (and awards season in general) came to a close. Another year of great films in 2015 is ahead before the next Oscar’s presentation. Until then the winners can enjoy their achievements. However I think everyone at the Oscar’s is truly a winner, because they all had some part in incredible film making. But let’s be honest, you really came out on top last night if you left with a Lego Oscar.

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Boyhood

About a month ago, I was watching an episode of Live! With Kelly and Michael and Ethan Hawke was a guest promoting his new film. I first caught the film’s name when they were about to cut to a commercial (originally I wasn’t even paying attention whatsoever). It was called Boyhood. On the talk show, Hawke spoke about how neat it was to see the kids grow up, but himself and co-star Patricia Arquette just got old looking. I wasn’t sure what he meant by this. That’s when I heard the movie was actually filmed over a 12 year time frame. It blew my mind. I had to see it because I had never heard of that being done before and I figured it was something special.

So a few days later I saw the film. I initially worried that it wouldn’t keep my interest since it was almost 3 hours long. I had nothing to be worried about though. Not only did it keep me entertained for its entirety but I also left the theater feeling unexplainably positive. I love when movies give me that feeling and I loved this movie.

I would classify it as one of those “coming-of-age” type films, yet it was not over done. It covered some major life events, but not to the point that it got too cliche or too cheesy. Through the events in the movie the audience is able to see how life shapes the main character, Mason, from point A of being an active 6 year old to point B of being 18, in college, and trying to figure out the world. (Hawke plays Mason’s father in case you were wondering.)

Because filming did take place over 12 years, I think this movie had an advantage over others that have occurred through time. It was so culturally relevant through the clothes, music, and interests of the kids/parents in it. It was as if the writers/producers/director/etc. took current events from the year they filmed and incorporated them into the feature such as the 2004 presidential election and the pop culture craze of Harry Potter. This attentiveness to detail of each time period added to Boyhood’s specialness. Of course, watching the characters grow and age was pretty special too.

I know this film came out a month ago. Its time in theaters is probably coming to a close soon enough if it hasn’t already. But still, go see it. If its not in your local theater, keep a look out for the dvd release. I promise you’ll want to say you say this film. I promise you’ll be captivated. Mostly, I promise this journey through time is worth it.