This week’s Labor Day holiday afforded me the opportunity to check out a matinee screening of writer/director Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood. I consider myself a sucker for coming-of-age stories and, as such, I went into the movie expecting to like it. I didn’t expect to leave the theater feeling as if I’d just watched the greatest coming-of-age film ever made. From beginning to end, Boyhood feels important. Not “important” in that it demands to be taken seriously, rather in a way that feels as if Linklater is genuinely interested in capturing something authentic and meaningful. I never once got the impression that the timeline in which the film was made was being used as a gimmick for cheap emotional connection. To the contrary, Boyhood earns every emotional beat it hits by way of excellent performances (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke stand out in particular), airtight pacing that documents the highlights of Mason’s adolescence, and sharp writing that makes it feel as if you didn’t miss all that much by bottling up 12 years of life into 165 minutes. I don’t know what kind of award chances Boyhood has and, to be honest, it really doesn’t matter. Awards are beneath this film. It’s a high-water mark not just for Linklater but for the medium in general.
All Boyhood hyperbole aside, this week’s Top 5 features all of our TIFF 2014 coverage to date, Dwayne Johnson being cast as “Black Adam” in Warner Bros. upcoming Shazam pic, interviews for and 24 things to know about Disney’s Big Hero 6, our Fall 2014 Horror Preview, and a disturbingly excellent trailer for the Belgian horror film Cub. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.