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Archive for the ‘Patricia Arquette’ Category

Boyhood

28 Jul

Boyhood – directed and written by Richard Linklater. Drama. 165 minutes Color 2014

★★

The Story: A six year-old boy grows over the years to become eighteen.

~

Atrocious.

I covered my face with shame watching it. It is devoid of originality and it is very, very, very badly written. The Emperor has lots of clothes and they are all chic cliché.

It is the same old problem of a writer imagining he can direct – or it may be the other way around. The two talents rarely go together. Some try it. Only Woody Allen succeeds. Here they are so many miles apart I cannot make out that they exist in Richard Linklater at all.

What we have here is a marvelous idea, which is to chose a six year old boy, and make a movie about his doings over the years as he grows, until he is eighteen.

That this is not done as a sort of home-movie is fine. But what the director shows instead has nothing to do with anything that he has not learned from cheap TV dramas. Andy Hardy Has A Pillow Fight With His Sister. Andy Hardy Looks At Playboy With His Friends In A Back Alley. Andy Hardy Goes To College.

There is nothing original or particular in it. There is no eccentricity in it. There is nothing that does not record the customary, the rule, the expected. There is nothing that exists outside of the acceptable. Every scene is a slogan. Every line a dread banality. And there is nothing personal to the young man in it whatsoever.

I was ashamed to have to sit there pulling the wool off my eyes. People applauded at the end and laughed on cue all through. Big Brother was impersonating Boyhood.

Ellar Coltrane, who plays the young male, is just fine. He is introverted and beautiful, both of which draw one to him. His sister Samantha is played by Lorelei Linklater, and she is the opposite of introverted, and she is just fine too. There is nothing to forgive them for. Nor is there in the case of Patricia Arquette as their mother. Everything she does is simple, clear, believable, and true. She’s a fine actress. My hat’s off to her.

As to the three men who play her husbands, their performances are so bad I will not defame myself by describing them. Let us just say they are over-detailed without being particular. Which means they are hammy. Bill Wise, though, as the Uncle has a marvelous moment at the end. And the end is long in coming. For we have traversed A Currier And Ives Calendar Of Typical Boyhood Moments, climaxed by a scene in which we are treated to the father urinating on a campfire. He instructs his teen-age son to follow suit. This act of ecological mercy is followed by the boy’s eye view of his pissing. It’s yellow, yep. Yet a boy’s eye view would have shown his penis. But no. It’s Andy Hardy, the difference being that no one thought Andy Hardy was real, only that Mickey Rooney was. Like everything else about this film it was impersonal, hollow, and unnecessary.

The film is a gimmick without content. The three leads deserve something better. The subject of boyhood deserves something better. I deserve something better. And so do you.

 
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Posted in Ethan Hawke, FAMILY DRAMA, Patricia Arquette

 

Special Thanks To Roy London

30 Jun

Special Thanks To Roy London. Documentary. A famed acting coach is revealed by those he taught. 89 minutes Color 2008.

* * * * *

Patrick Swayze, Sharon Stone, Garry Shandling, Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Forest Whitaker, Patricia Arquette, and especially Lois Chiles tell all that can be told about this great mentor of their craft. He himself speaks, too, but he speaks about acting as contiguous with life itself. A few of his strategies are revealed, but they apply to the specific actor in a specific scene, so, while it is helpful to adopt his mind set, he intends to adduce no general rules from them, which is gracious of him. He evidently is not of the brutally cruel school of teacher, Sanford Meisner, Kim Stanley, Stella Adler, but is rather more like Uta Hagen, a teacher of breadth. Of course, I don’t think one would go to London for classical work or training. His focus is on tv and film and for those temperaments which suit those media. After all, one would not wish to see Clint Eastwood play King Lear; his instrument is meant for other things. London’s lovers supply their history with him and their affidavits of him. Some of his background as a New York stage actor is shown. And his death is recounted by Sharon Stone and particularly by Lois Chiles who was with him as he died of AIDS. He is worth visiting here. Acting mentors of his rare order have the highest insight into human nature; not the greatest guru in the world can equal it. He is well worth spending time with here, as are all great actors in the mantle of their craft, and for the same reason. .

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