Boyhood. Le prime recensioni dagli Stati Uniti

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Con il suo ultimo film, Boyhood, presentato in anteprima allo scorso Festival di Berlino, Richard Linklater ha girato probabilmente il suo capolavoro.

Noto in Italia soprattutto per la trilogia Prima dell’alba, Before Sunset, Before Midnight, nella sua prolifica carriera vanno ricordati almeno gli esordi di Slaker e Dazed and Confused, un american graffiti anni ’90, completamente misconosciuto nel nostro paese, School of Rock con Jack Black, l’accoppiata Waking Life/A scanner Darkly e  l’inedito Bernie con lo stesso Black, Shirley MacLaine  e Mattew McConaughey.

Le recensioni americane di Boyhood sono stupefacenti. Su Metacritic il film raggiunge la quota record di 99/100.

Manhola Dargis sul New York Times, afferma:

Filmed over 12 consecutive years, “Boyhood” centers on Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who’s 6 when the story opens and 18 when it ends.

[…] In “Boyhood,” Mr. Linklater’s inspired idea of showing the very thing that most movies either ignore or awkwardly elide — the passage of time — is its impressive, headline-making conceit. Starting in 2002, he gathered his four lead actors each year for a three- to four-day shoot, working on the script as they went along.

Boyhood rimane per la Dargis un mistero da scoprire ogni volta:

Radical in its conceit, familiar in its everyday details, “Boyhood” exists at the juncture of classical cinema and the modern art film without being slavishly indebted to either tradition. It’s a model of cinematic realism, and its pleasures are obvious yet mysterious. Even after seeing the film three times, I haven’t fully figured out why it has maintained such a hold on me, and why I’m eager to see it again. There are many reasons to love movies, from the stories they tell, to the beautiful characters who live and die for us. And yet the story in “Boyhood” is blissfully simple: A child grows up.

[…] André Bazin wrote that art emerged from our desire to counter the passage of time and the inevitable decay it brings. But in “Boyhood,” Mr. Linklater’s masterpiece, he both captures moments in time and relinquishes them as he moves from year to year. He isn’t fighting time but embracing it in all its glorious and agonizingly fleeting beauty.

Todd McCarthy su The Hollywood Reporter, sottolinea l’eccezionalità del film di Linklater, che nasce da elementi già visti molte volte:

A unique work in American cinema, shot in 39 days over the course of 12 years, Boyhood is an epic about the ordinary: growing up, the banality of family life, and forging an identity. Everything here has been seen in movies and on television countless times before — marital spats, a divorced dad trying to connect with kids he sporadically sees, teenagers acting out, parents having to let go — but perhaps never has the long arc of the journey from childhood to college been portrayed as cohesively and convincingly as Richard Linklater has done in a film that can be plain on a moment-to-moment basis but is something quite special in its entirety.

C’è qualcosa di Truffaut nello sguardo di Linklater verso l’infanzia:

With all the geographic, educational, parental and emotional 
adjustments Mason and Samantha are forced to make, they do pretty well
, all things considered, which brings to mind the overriding theme of
 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.


There are many indelible passages in Boyhood, along with a few
 stretches that are less than compelling, even boring. But the length 
suits the film’s substance and the feeling at the end is of a rich,
 greatly rewarding experience. Certainly, Linklater, with all the other
 projects he pursued over the course of these dozen years, must have 
had his fingers crossed much of the time that this ongoing enterprise
 would work out all right in the end. It turned out as well, or better,
 than anyone could have logically expected.

Peter Travers su Rolling Stone è molto esplicito nel tessere le lodi di un regista troppo spesso sottovalutato:

Want to know what it’s like to be in on the discovery of a new American classic. Check out Boyhood. Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age tale is the best movie of the year, a four-star game-changer that earns its place in the cultural time capsule. Since I locked eyes, mind and heart on Linklater’s indie landmark at Sundance in January, I’ve been urging you to see it and judge for yourself. Here’s why:

Boyhood lets us watch Linklater come into his own as one of the great filmmakers. It’s about time. The Austin-based writer and director has been sneaking out gems from Slacker and Dazed and Confused to Bernie and the Before trilogy (Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight) with such understated regularity that award-givers hardly take notice. Screw them. Linklater is a true poet of the everyday. Get busy, Oscar.

Betsy Sharkey sul Los Angeles Times si sofferma sulle interpretazioni:

There is a great balance between humor and pathos in each of the performances. Arquette and Hawke are masterful in following the arc of adults maturing in the wake of their mistakes. The actors, who’ve done so much fine work in their careers, bring a humanity, resilience and vulnerability to the roles that we’ve not seen quite as fully realized before. And Lorelei Linklater makes Samantha’s transition from delightful youngster to petulant teen absolutely believable.

But Coltrane is the film’s emotional glue. He is remarkable on-screen at every stage. Early on, he’s a young boy of few words but even at 6 enough of a performer that he absorbs everything in ways that allow you to sense and see. As Mason grows, the dialogue and the emotions become more complex, and Coltrane’s performance follows in kind.

E conclude con un elogio alla sapienza registica di Linklater:

[…]  For all of its uniqueness, “Boyhood” is exactly the kind of film we should have expected Linklater to do. Over the span of his career, the filmmaker has proved to be as much a cultural anthropologist as writer-director, ever curious about how things will work out. His collaboration with Julie Delpy and Hawke in the brilliant “Before” trilogy — “Sunrise,” “Sunset” and “Midnight,” marking out a couple’s various emotional states — extended over nearly two decades, the director and his stars creating an intimate expression of love and relationships.

There is also a veracity that infuses all of the director’s work. If God is in the details, then Linklater is contemporary cinema’s god. From the people that populate his films to the places they unfold, he threads that needle perfectly.

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