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Top 3 Critics’ Picks In Theaters this July: Richard Linklater’s Boyhood


Top 3 Critics’ Picks In Theaters this July: Richard Linklater’s Boyhood

Boyhood – Richard Linklater
Limited Release – July 11th
Distributor: IFC Films

Awards & Fests: It had it’s unofficial premiere at Sundance, official showing in Berlin (Linklater won the Silver Berlin Bear for Best Director) and grabbed prizes at American indie fests SXSW and Seattle.

What the critic’s are saying?: Not counting the presence of Lars Von Trier and/or Whiplash, this decade-plus long film in the making was the buzz title of the festival — chiefly because film history doesn’t have any carbon examples of such a feat. Variety’s Peter Debruge explains that, “Linklater allowed the script to evolve as Coltrane did, which explains why it feels less organized than we might want or expect. Barely finished in time for Sundance (with end credits and music clearances still incomplete), “Boyhood” was conceived as a chance to discover — rather than impose — a fate on Mason’s character.” 

THR’s Todd McCarthy comparably points out the specific lack of overt dramatic elements, citing “Francois Truffaut‘s films about children, which was their resilience.
 With all the childhood traumas, extreme behavior and tragedies that
 have been depicted in both narrative and documentary films over the
 last couple of decades, it’s both bracing and refreshing to see more
 normal (if far from ideal) youthful experience represented in such a
 nonmelodramatic and credible way.”

To caution future auds, Nicholas Bell and I fell that this is indeed a special item in Linklater’s filmography, but as Nicholas points out that, “it may pale in comparison to the dramatic impact achieved with Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight, it’s a daunting piece of work and certainly a respectable achievement.”

Our 2nd Critics’ Pick for the Month of July: Land Ho!

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top 3 from 2016: Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt), Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve), Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)

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