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July 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood was showered with praise when it was screened in January at the Sundance Film Festival and again in May at the Cannes Film Festival. That praise has become a deluge as it opens in New York and Los Angeles this weekend. Claudia Puig in USA Today calls the film, in which all the actors performed their roles over a 12-year period, "an epic masterpiece that seems wholly unconcerned with trying to be one." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone writes that it’s "the best movie of the year,a four-star game-changer." Lou Lumenick in the New York Post acknowledges that he was skeptical about all the early rave reviews, "but Richard Linklater’s remarkable Boyhood‘ pretty much lives up to the hype." It is, says Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News "like nothing you’ve ever seen." Manohla Dargis in the New York Times rarely, if ever, uses the word "masterpiece" to describe a film, but she does so with this one and includes some personal reflections that are absent from most of her other reviews. Here’s a longish excerpt: "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. This, along with the modesty of its physical production — its humble rooms, quiet moments, ordinary lives — can obscure Mr. Linklater’s ambitions and the greatness of his achievement."