Alright, cards on the table- A film that opens with a soundtracking of “Yellow” by champion bed soilers Coldplay, charts twelve years in the life of the bastard child of Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette and doesn’t boast much in the way of actual story, pretty much sounds arse doesn’t it?
Yeah, colour me surprised, pitch-perfect performances across the board (even Ethan “Same expression for every occasion” Hawke), spot-on casting, married with the trademark unfussy Linklater direction and wordy ponderings thrown into the melting pot for good measure. With some on-point pop-culture references running the gamut from The Beatles-Star Wars sequels-Gameboy bloody Advance and a soundtrack that really feels fitting and organic to the feature (Coldplay not withstanding) all do their job and make it infinitely more than the sum of its parts. A slice of life writ large that embraces and embarrasses as often as it astounds, really doesn’t shy away from the awkward and thankfully isn’t too rose tinted, a lot like your formative years in general.
A beautiful piece of cinema that could have easily been a spot of hipster cynicism in another filmmaker’s hands.
Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC. Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.