What I Learned From Watching: The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)
Boyhood (film) Boyhood Boyhood depicts the childhood and adolescence of Mason Evans, Jr. (Coltrane) from ages six to eighteen as he grows up in Texas with divorced parents (Arquette and Hawke). Richard Linklater's daughter Lorelei plays Mason's sister, Samantha. Production began in 2002 and finished in 2013, with Linklater's goal to make a film about growing up. The project began without a completed script, with only basic plot points and the ending written initially. Linklater developed the script throughout production, writing the next year's portion of the film after rewatching the previous year's footage. He incorporated changes he saw in each actor into the script, while also allowing all major actors to participate in the writing process by incorporating their life experiences into their characters' stories.  and was released theatrically on July 11, 2014. Contents In 2002, six-year-old Mason Evans, Jr., and his older sister Samantha live with their single mother Olivia in Texas. Mason overhears Olivia arguing with her boyfriend, saying she has no free time due to parenting. In 2003, Olivia moves the family to Houston, so she can attend the University of Houston, complete her degree, and get a better job. In 2004, Mason's father, Mason Sr., visits Houston and takes the children bowling. He promises to spend more time with them. When he drops the kids off at home, he argues with Olivia while Mason and Samantha watch from a window. Olivia takes Mason to one of her classes, introducing him to her professor, Bill Welbrock; Mason sees them flirt. By 2005, Olivia and Bill have married and blended their two families, including Bill's children from a previous marriage. They share experiences such as playing video games and attending a midnight release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Mason and Samantha are enrolled in the same school as their step-siblings, where Mason meets and befriends a girl named Nicole, who also has a crush on him. In 2006, Mason and Samantha bond with their father Mason Sr. as he takes them out for a day in Houston, culminating in a Houston Astros game and a sleepover at his house with his roommate Jimmy. Olivia continues her education and is initially supportive of Bill's strict parenting style, which includes many chores for the kids and a forced cutting of Mason's long hair. In 2007, Bill becomes abusive as alcoholism takes over his life. After Bill assaults Olivia and endangers the kids, Olivia moves the family to a friend's house and files for divorce. In 2008, Mason Sr. learns that Samantha has a boyfriend and talks to her and Mason about contraception. He and Mason go camping at Pedernales Falls State Park and bond over the music of Wilco, Star Wars, and Mason's blossoming interest in girls. Mason and Samantha have grown into their new lives in San Marcos, a town close to Austin. In 2009, Mason is bullied by other students at school and teased on a camping trip but starts receiving attention from girls. Olivia teaches psychology at college and moves in with Jim, a student and Bosnian/Iraq War veteran. By 2010, Mason has experimented with marijuana and alcohol. Mason Sr., who has remarried and now has a baby, takes Mason and Samantha to visit his wife's parents. For his birthday, Mason Sr. gives Mason a suit and The Black Album, a mix CD of Beatles solo songs; Mason's step-grandparents give him a personalized Bible and a vintage shotgun. In 2011, Mason is lectured by his photography teacher, who sees his potential but is disappointed in his lack of ambition and hard work. Mason attends a party and meets Sheena, who becomes his girlfriend. After Mason arrives home late one night from a party, a drunk Jim confronts Mason about his late hours. Olivia and Jim eventually split up. In 2012, Mason and Sheena visit Samantha at the University of Texas at Austin, where they share their hopes and fears about college, staying up late to watch the sun rise. Samantha's roommate discovers them asleep together in her dorm room. In May 2013, during the end of Mason's senior year in high school, he has a painful breakup with Sheena, wins the silver medal in a state photography contest, and is awarded college scholarship money. Mason's family throws him a graduation party and toasts his success. Mason Sr. gives him advice about his breakup. Planning to sell the house and downsize, Olivia meets Samantha and Mason for lunch and asks them to sort through their possessions. Later that year, as Mason prepares to leave his mother's new apartment for college, Olivia breaks down, disillusioned by how fast life's milestones seem to have passed by. At Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Mason moves into his dorm room and meets his new roommate Dalton, Dalton's girlfriend Barb, and Barb's roommate Nicole. Mason eats a cannabis edible or mushroom chocolate given to him by Barb and the group goes hiking at Big Bend Ranch State Park. Nicole shares with Mason her belief that, rather than people seizing moments, moments seize us, to which Mason agrees. 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 Acquaintances Charlie Sexton as Jimmy: Mason Sr.'s roommate and friend Barbara Chisholm as Carol: Olivia's friend Cassidy Johnson as Abby: Carol's daughter Richard Robichaux as Mason's boss Steven Chester Prince as Ted: Olivia's boyfriend Tom McTigue as Mr. Turlington: Mason Jr.'s photography teacher Will Harris as Sam's boyfriend at college Andrea Chen as Sam's college roommate Maximillian McNamara as Dalton: Mason Jr.'s college roommate Taylor Weaver as Barb: Dalton's girlfriend Jessi Mechler as Nicole: Barb's roommate In May 2002, Linklater said that he would begin shooting an untitled film in his home city of Houston that summer.  He planned to assemble the cast and crew for a few weeks' filming annually for 12 years. He said: "I've long wanted to tell the story of a parent–child relationship that follows a boy from the first through the 12th grade and ends with him going off to college. But the dilemma is that kids change so much that it is impossible to cover that much ground. And I am totally ready to adapt the story to whatever he is going through."  IFC, the film's distributor, committed to a film budget of US$200,000 per year, or $2.4 million over the 12-year shooting period. Ellar Coltrane portrayed the film's protagonist, Mason Jr. Boyhood began filming without a completed script. Linklater had prepared each character's basic plot points, and the ending—including the final shot—but otherwise wrote the script for the next year's filming after rewatching the previous year's footage, incorporating the changes he saw in each actor. All major actors participated in the writing process, contributing their life experiences; for example, Hawke's character is based on his and Linklater's fathers—both Texan insurance agents who divorced and remarried—and Arquette's character is based on her mother, who resumed her education later in life and became a psychotherapist. Despite the unconventional screenwriting process, Linklater stated that he had a general storyline in mind, and that the actors did not change the general direction of the story: People think I asked Ellar, "What did you do in school the other day? Let's make a scene about that!" That never happened. The time we spent together was me just gauging where he was at in his life—what his concerns were and what he was doing. Then I would think, maybe we could move the camping trip up, and we can do this or that. Box office Boyhood premiered theatrically on July 11, 2014, in a limited release in four theaters in North America and grossed $387,618, with an average of $77,524 per theater, ranking number 19 at the box office. The film expanded the next week to 34 theaters and grossed $1.2 million, with an average of $34,418 per theater. The film's wide release occurred on August 15, opening in 771 theaters and grossing $2 million, with an average of $2,584 per theater and ranking number 11. The film's widest release in the U.S. was 775 theaters. The film ultimately earned $25.4 million domestically and $21 million internationally for a total of $46.4 million, against a $4 million production budget. Critical reception On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a "Certified Fresh" score of 98%, based on 278 reviews, with an average rating of 9.2/10. The critical consensus states, "Epic in technical scale but breathlessly intimate in narrative scope, Boyhood is a sprawling investigation of the human condition."  On Metacritic, the film has a perfect score of 100 out of 100, based on 50 reviews.  It is the highest rated of all films reviewed upon their original release on the site,  and one of only three films in the site's history to achieve a perfect aggregate score.  It also holds the highest number of reviews for a film with a score of 100. Patricia Arquette won an Academy, BAFTA, Critics' Choice, Golden Globe, and SAG Award for her performance in the film. A collection of 25 French critiques on AlloCiné, including those from Boyhood also earned the admiration of other filmmakers and artists. Director Christopher Nolan named Boyhood as his favorite film of 2014, calling it "extraordinary".  Writer Joyce Carol Oates tweeted her support, saying: "It is rare that a film so mimics the rhythms and texture of actual life as Boyhood. Such seeming spontaneity is a very high art."  Poet and critic Dan Chiasson wrote in a contribution to The New York Review of Books: "This is a great film, the greatest American movie I have ever seen in a theater. It is great for what we see, but it is even greater for its way of making real what we cannot see, or for suggesting that what we cannot yet see we might one day see." Boyhood] is Huckleberry Finn for the twenty-first century, for it is only Mason Jr. who retains his honesty, integrity and sense of decency throughout ... a masterful movie not to be missed." Boyhood, he sent an email to Linklater and thanked him for giving "this incredible gift". Other critics reacted less positively to the film. Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan described it as "at best, OK" and one whose "animating idea is more interesting than its actual satisfactions".  Sam Adams of IndieWire argued that the unanimous praise for Boyhood is bad for film criticism, as it tends to marginalize the analysis of critics who disagree with the majority; Adams further elaborated that masterpieces are not made "by unanimous praise, but by careful scrutiny".  Richard Brody of The New Yorker listed the film at the top of a year-end list he called "The Negative Ten", a list of films with "significant merit", but that also "occluded the view toward the year's most accomplished and daringly original work". Linklater told Hypable in July 2014 that he was planning a DVD/Blu-ray release through The Criterion Collection: Yeah, we've got a ton of behind the scenes stuff. We made this in the era where everyone has a digital camera so we unearthed an interview from year one with Ellar, Lorelei, Patricia and myself, Patricia interviewed me in 2002. I hadn't seen this since we shot it, Ellar had forgotten quite a bit of it but he got to see himself as a wide-eyed six year old. For people who like the movie, I think there will be a lot of cool little treasures. On August 21, Variety reported that Paramount Home Media Distribution had acquired the U.S. home entertainment rights for DVD, Blu-ray and digital distribution. IFC Films will retain VOD and EST sales as part of the deal.  The film became available on Digital HD on December 9, 2014, and was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 6, 2015.  The Criterion Collection released a special edition of the film on Blu-Ray and DVD on October 18, 2016.