Star – Ethan Hawke & Patricia Arquette
Genre – Drama
Run Time – 165 minutes
Certificate – NR
Country – USA
Awards – 206Nominations & 170Wins
Amazon – £ DVD £Blue Ray
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Boyhood comes from interesting and revered cult filmmaker Richard Linklater, possibly one of the bravest and most ambitious films ever made here with Boyhood. The critics went nuts for it, the first film to get 100% on metacritic on original release and only the seventh maximum on their website. Its mechanics, rather than the story, generated that interested, Linklater casting a 7-year-old Ellar Coltrane back in 2002 and then made a movie out of his life until he graduates from college in real life at 19, building a fictional narrative around his life in Texas with fictional parents and siblings. The risks were huge. What if the kid got sick in real life, or worse? What if the kid couldn’t act in his teens and wasn’t as movie star cute the film demands as he was at 7 as he was at 16? That proved the case, getting just 7 film jobs in his 14 years as an actor so far.
Linklater’s construction method was to gather the cast and crew to gather once a year for the 12-years of filming and to make several 10-15 minute vignettes to cover each year of the boy’s life. Linklater then adapted the script to the kid’s lifestyle and situation. In that 12-year period leading man on the movie, Ethan Hawke, completed 20 other movies, his changing look on screen reminding you of those movies. In fact he garnered 3 Oscar nominations in that interim for his acting and has done an incredible 12 movies since Boyhood (2014).
It was not so rosy for Patricia Arquette in the same decade or so, getting into the business through the family name and playing mostly forgettable sexy blondes through the 1990s and then fading out in the new millennium after going through a rough marriage. A rather overweight Arquette managed just 4 movies and some TV in her baker’s oven involvement during the Boyhood period. In fact she avoided plastic surgery for authenticity with her soccer mom Boyhood character for the duration. Asking an actress not to get a nip and tuck is like trying to keep Vanessa Feltz away from the buffet. It is intriguing to see an actress on screen without any ‘work’ done when she is quite a few pounds over, very exposed on camera, not glamorous by any stretch of the imagination. She looks great at the end of the movie though when she could finally dump the weight and get to the Beverly Hills Clinic. The cast could not sign contracts for the film due to the De Havilland Law, which makes it illegal to contract someone for more than seven years of work. Linklater told Hawke that he would have to finish the film if he died. It’s shot in 35mmm film for the whole 12 years for further authenticity.
• Patricia Arquette as Olivia Evans
• Ellar Coltrane as Mason Evans Jr.
• Lorelei Linklater as Samantha Evans
• Ethan Hawke as Mason Evans Sr.
• Libby Villari as Catherine: Olivia's mother
• Marco Perella as Bill Welbrock: Olivia's second husband
• Brad Hawkins as Jim: Olivia's boyfriend
• Jamie Howard as Mindy Welbrock: Bill's daughter
• Andrew Villarreal as Randy Welbrock: Bill's son
• Jenni Tooley as Annie: Mason Sr.'s second wife
• Richard Andrew Jones as Annie's father
• Karen Jones as Annie's mother
• Bill Wise as Steve Evans: Mason Sr.'s brother
We join the life of the dysfunctional Evans family, single Mum Olivia (Patricia Arquette), little 7-year-old Mason Jr (Ellar Coltrane) and sister Samantha (Jr.Lorelei Linklater). They are about to move to Houston so mum can go to university but Mason Sr.(Ethan Hawke) will be staying in Austin to pursue his music career, a jobless waster in all but name. He promises to visit the kids more but kept away from the home by her increasingly unstable boyfriend Bill Welbrock (Marco Perella), a teacher at Mason’s school, soon to be her second husband, who also has two kids by another marriage, daughter Mindy (Jamie Howard) and son Randy (Andrew Villarreal). But it’s a doomed marriage and he becomes abusive after she graduates, female emancipation a big relationship killer.
Mason Sr. is still around building his relationship with his kids and the family now living with Olivia’s sister. By 2010 Mason Jr is in high school and smoking pot and dad can hardly lecture him on that one. But they are closer than ever and hope for the future. Olivia is happy and dating Jim (Brad Hawkins) a younger man and Iraq veteran. Mason Sr. has remarried, a girl called Sarah (Jenni Tooley). But how to get Mason Jr. to college amongst this relationship turmoil?
Boyhood is one of those movies we feel obliged to see because it won an Oscar or two but we all know the requirement for an Oscar movie today is to be generally too long, somewhat serious and a rather bland movie, the case here. Although it didn’t win Best Picture (probably because it wasn’t an ‘issues movie’) it was clearly the critic’s favorite.
Boyhood began filming without a completed script. Linklater’s plan was to prepared each character's basic plot points, and the films ending—including the final shot—but otherwise wrote the script for the next year's filming after rewatching the previous year's footage, then incorporating the changes he saw in each actors real life and nuances. All the actors participated in that script writing process alongside the director, adding their life experiences to the pie. Hawke's character is actually based on his and Linklater's fathers—both Texan insurance agents who divorced and remarried. Arquette's character is based on her mother, who resumed her education later in life and became a psychotherapist, as does her character in the movie. It’s that type of deep movie.
But, like I said, Oscar winners are rarely everyone’s cup of tea and this one not mine. It’s all rather bloated and meaningless to me. Fair play for making it but very much a filmmaker’s film. Its surprisingly cheap budget of $4 million did $44 million back, quite well for an Oscar winner. The construction of this is fascinating though; I will give you that, seeing the handsome Training Day Ethan Hawke turn into the haggard Before Midnight Ethan Hawke over 12-years discombobulating. Obviously creating fiction from events ‘devoid of theatrics, as true to life as fiction can be’, as one critic put it, is interesting. That really is the only point here. I’m guessing the director wants the viewer to experience their own life as a movie and how normal that would be. He is exactly right but not really the reasons we go to the movies mate! We go to escape that monotony, not watch it in a near three hour bloody movie!
I think it’s fair to say this movie did win its 167 awards from its 207 nominations for the technical achievement as much as the acting. Arquette is excellent in the lead and worthy of the Oscar she won for her sacrifice but apart from that nothing to see here. She quite literally put 12-years of her career into this movie. I suppose the emotion of the actors real lives fed into the 12-year movie and Hawke would be divorced by Uma Thurman half-way through this. But that’s not really enough reward for the viewer looking for a film experience. There is nothing pretentious about this film but and feels like showing off more than anything.
Imdb.com – 7.9/10.0 (287,239votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 95% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 100% critic’s approval
Daily Mail –‘... a different and daring kind of cinematic experience that is as involving as it is impressive.
The Sun –‘Boyhood: Concept: A Execution: C –‘
The Atlantic –‘Calling it a sum of its parts can be a backhanded compliment, but it feels like especially worthy praise for Boyhood, considering how much went into making it feel whole’.
The Stage –‘A film 12 years in the making and worth every minute of the wait’.
Cinemascope –‘There's no hand-holding here on the part of Linklater, who presents these events devoid of theatrics, as true to life as fiction can be’.
Eye for Film –‘Intimate and insightful even in its weaker moments, Linklater finds strength and value in normality’’.
The Guardian –‘'Boyhood' reveals itself as something deeper, more noteworthy and ambitious than even its remarkable production would suggest, for Linklater has given us nothing less than a cinematic approximation of human memory’.
The Boston Herald –‘Honestly, Boyhood is Richard Linklater's masterpiece and easily the best film of the year so far. Do not miss it’.
To begin with the car park on Show case cinema is very large, but on a weekend or Wednesday night, it tents to get quite busy but there will usually be a few spaces around the back past the bowling away from the restaurants and bowling.
Showcase offers both standard seats and premier seats. The standard seats have enough room for someone under six foot, but for myself being six foot two, there is not much leg room, especially if someone is sitting in front of you and their seat is pushed back. The seats are comfortable, but if your watching a long film, you tend to get a little numb, but that may just be from sitting still for hours.
The premier area is much better. Once you've walked up the stairs to the premier area, there is a small bar which offers a range of drinks both none alcoholic and alcoholic. They are also not too expensive, usually around £2.50 for a J20. There is a number of seating areas with a large flat screen TV in the centre. There are also a number of more private sitting areas with small seats which adds to the luxury. The premier seats are like small sofas, which are very comfortable. The tables that are at the side of the seats could do with being a lot larger because when the foot is brought, there is not enough room for a drink and a plate. The sofas will seat three people, which causes a problem when there are three people together as one would have to be slightly away from the others which is bad.
The food which is given has dropped in standard recently. There used to be a plate per person, consisting of crisps, chicken wings, chocolate and a muffin, but now there is only one plate between two, and only chocolates, muffins and crisps.
Also, there are no toilets upstairs, which is disappointing as you have to walk up and down a flight of stairs, which if your in the middle of a film, you could miss over 5 minutes.
The prices to dent to vary each time you visit but below is a hopefully accurate list:
- £5.36 weekend evening
- £5.00 weekend day
- £5.39 weekday night
- £4.93 weekday day time
- £12.50 anytime for premier
There is also Student discount available but this is not for premier seats.
On Wednesday, after looking at several cinemas in Leicester I decided to go to see The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus at the Showcase Cinema De Lux. The cinema is located near the High Cross Shopping centre in Leicester. It is near lots of yummy restaurants and I went for steak before going to see the film. The entrance to the cinema is a small foyer where you buy your tickets. There were three or four counters to buy tickets, as well as places to pick tickets up if you had pre-booked. I hadn't pre-booked and I showed up an hour before the film started to get the tickets before going for dinner. There was no queue and I was pleased to find the prices were the same as at other showcase cinemas. They hadn't hiked the prices up because it was "delux". I got a student ticket for £5.50 which is cheaper than most other cinemas that I know of.
When I returned an hour later to see the film I was pleased to see a nice long queue of people waiting to get tickets, as I went straight to the escalator and rode it up to the next floor. The escalator opened up to a nice open area where the confectionary stands were. To the right was a posh restaurant called "Studio One" and more escalators up to the next floor. At the restaurant you could get two for one cocktails ;) which I am pretty sure you can take into the cinema with you. The prices of the confectionary were also standard to other showcase cinemas and on a par with cinemas like the odeon and vue. Unfortunately I felt a little let down by the ambiance of the cinema. I had heard that it was meant to be very posh and high-tech but the floor was dirty and the lighting was very clinical. There was a big 3D deluxe sign which you could sit in which looked out over Leicester, but we did not have time to sit down and watch people buying their popcorn as we had a film to catch. We queued up for food and were served promptly and relatively efficiently, the steward forgot our order a few times but she was obviously run off her feet and so we were very forgiving lol. We managed to get a large popcorn, large drink, medium drink and 2 tubs of Ben and Jerry's for £13.50. The large popcorn was to share and we were a little disappointed by the size of it. The large at the Odeon is probably twice the size of the showcase version of large (although the drinks have no difference). You can get a supersize at the Showcase but they should really warn you before you order that their large is actually a medium (especially as the steward did not fill it to the top and then proceeded to spill some when she put it down and did not bother refilling it).
Next stop was of course the toilets, being females I can only talk about the ladies, but I assume the mens would not have been too different. The toilets were pretty standard of any cinema, black floors, doors and walls, low level lighting, posh sinks with sensored flushes and taps. BUT NO SOAP! That's right, the "Posh" cinema had absolutely no soap in the toilets! They did not even have soap dispensers! Poor toilet planning!! ... moving on lol. We walked down to our screen and I was fairly annoyed to find that the door to the cinema had to be opened out toward you, with hands full of drinks and popcorn this was quite a struggle, it would have been much better to have doors which opened in and you could push with a shoulder or foot, rather than juggle the confectionary. (you may think I am being picky lol, but i was still a little annoyed about the soap at this point)
You don't get assigned seats in a showcase, which is great, you can sit where you want when you judge where is best based on the size and position of the screen. The cinema was about half full by the time we arrived and so we sat to the side. The chairs were great! Really great!! They not only tilted back slightly, to ease that crick in your neck you may experience sitting in some areas of the cinema but they were also moulded, like sport car's seats to your back so it is supported. Most definitely the best seats I have sat in in a cinema! They was ample leg room and the seats were lovely and wide, I had great fun rocking myself in one. The only downfall is that it is quite possible that you will easily fall asleep in them. There was also a nice big cup holder by each seat, big enough to take the large cup (unlike at the Odeon).
The lights went down and the adverts began, well I say adverts, I mean trailers. Because either I blocked them out of memory and had a black out for fifteen minutes OR the cinema did not play adverts!! Fantastic! I hate having them forced down my throat at cinemas; I don't watch them on t.v I don't want to pay to watch them at a cinema! The screen that we went in (4) was pretty typical of the average cinema, nothing big or special about it. I'm not sure about any other screens as this was my first visit. The only problem I did find was that at certain points the film's volume got a bit too loud, it made me squint because of the noise. I'm not someone that doesn't like loud movies, I love action films and explosions but for the film I was watching the volume was a bit loud in places. I left screening room after a fairly weird film and made my way to the exit. My experience of the showcase delux was pretty average, on a par with other cinemas and not overly special. As you don't pay anything extra for the delux I wasn't too disappointed.
There are premium experiences you can have at the cinema though. You can see films in the directors Hall, where the seats are leather and its over 18's only after 8pm. There is a lounge attached to the hall where you can go for a drink before and after the film and you can hire the whole screen out for birthdays or special events. This sounds like a great idea to me, an avid film buff, especially for the release of a big blockbuster! You can buy giftcards for showcase on their website if you want to treat someone special.
There is no parking at the actual cinema location, but it is very near high cross and so you can park in that car park for a fee of £2 after 5pm. Don't forget, if you're not familiar with Highcross that the shops shut at 8pm so if your film ends after this then you'll have to get to the car park through some side doors. I was not aware of this fact and ended up circling Highcross twice before someone told me where to go, lol.
The showcase cinema de lux has recently opened in Cabot Circus in Bristol and is one of the flagship "stores" right up on the top floor. The fully glass fronted cinema is always clean, tidy and well kept as is the inside. When you walk into the lobby the first thing that hits you is the space, it is really well laid out. Automatic ticket machines are just to your left where you can pick up pre-booked tickets, purchase tickets (instead of queuing) and also buy confectionary vouchers - which basically means you pre order all your cinema nibbles, pay there and don't have to queue to pick it up - ingenious idea! In the left-hand corner are the ticket sales, be careful there are two queues! The first is for standard tickets and to be honest certainly in Bristol there is generally a queue but to the right of this queue is the Directors hall ticket sales (I'll come back to the Director's hall later). On the far wall of the lobby is the confectionary stalls - offering all the usual cinema eats but on the opposite wall is a restaurant that is fully licensed!
To head up to the cinema screens there are escalators and lifts at the back of the lobby - after you display your tickets. Now there are 13 screens in total - 11 standard screens and 2 Director's screens. The standard screens are all located just off the escalators, where there is another place to buy nibbles (generally very quiet) and also some nice leather sofas so that you don't have to stand and wait to get into the screen - another great idea! I have been in a couple of the different standard screens and they are quiet spacious, with good leg room and well padded seats, toilets are well distributed between screens so that if you do need to nip out it wont take you too long!
Now the Directors screens and Director's lounge! This is just a great idea. Tickets to the Director's area will cost you more - its roughly £4.50 more than a standard ticket but with great benefits. The Director's lounge is fully licensed and also serves nibbles - all of which can be taken into or delivered to you in the cinema. The cinema itself is huge! The seats are more like sofas, leather and quiet large, generally separated into two's with the exception of the disabled areas. Each seat has a small wooden table that can be pulled across from the arm to sit basically across your lap to hold drinks and food. It really is very comfortable and more like watching a movie at home but with a really big screen and great sound.
Overall the cinema is definitely De Lux, well kept, clean, tidy and with friendly staff makes for a great evening out.
The Showcase Cinema De Lux has recently opened in the new Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol, and it's the creme de la creme of cinema going! Compared to the city centres other cinema, the Odeon, the Showcase is like visiting the Oscars!
Despite being a little more pricey than other cinemas, Showcase De Lux still offers student discounts and Orange Wednesdays which makes going to the cinema an affordable evening out and a delight with such a swish cinema to visit!
The entrance is huge, with a fully licensed bar, restaurant, reception desk, toilets and snacks bar! And the popcorn and drinks are surprisingly good value for money in a cinema of such high standards!
The seats are comfy and all screen rooms are big and clean. The screens and surround sound are brilliant, though at times it can get a bit loud! The staff are helpful and it's a wonderful, relaxing cinema experience.
Compared to the other two cinemas in leicester: Odean and Vue, this is very high class and completely new to leicester. With elavators going up to the screens and down to back to the enterance, which i think is a great idea.
Its very busy. I am currently an insider of the cinema, which allows you to get exclusive previews to new films and other such offers.
The prices are good, pretty much like most cinemas. Also there is parking in the highcross carpark, which is not even a five minute walk away.
Also in the cinema is a bar, i guess for before and after a film, i think its a nice idea i havent had a drink from there but it seems quite fancy.
The screens are pretty much like normal cinemas until you sit down on the seats and have the opportunity to tilt back.
I personally like the cinema as i live in leicester and its new and different. But im sure others would also enjoy it too
At present, there are three Showcase Cinema De Lux's in the UK. They are in the following places:
Westfield Centre, Derby
Cabot Circus, Bristol
I recently went to watch 'Quantum of Solace' at the Showcase cinema in Bristol. I was able to book my ticket online and was able to choose the sea. During the booking process, you have the option to print the ticket at home or collect it at the cinema. There is a 60p booking fee booking online or on the phone.
The general daytime ticket price is £6 and the evening price is £7 for adults. There is 50p reduction for Children and OAPs. These were the prices that were displayed on 31 Oct 2008.
The cinema in Bristol is on two levels, and there are 13 screens, 5 on the entrance level and the rest on the upper level. 3 screens are in the Directors Lounge and hall.
The Directors' lounge and hall is a real luxury where cinema goers can enjoy ultimate luxury, with the premium screens having extra wide leather seats with adjustable tables. Exclusive access to the Director's lounge is included. The lounge is where guests can eat dinner and have drinks before or after the movie. As well as the normal drinks, you can buy cocktails and wine, plus hot food. I didn't find out how much it would cost to watch a film in this area.
In the other screens, hot foods and drinks are available.