Boyhood

[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

As I type IMDB ranks this as #181 of its Top 250 movies of all time. I didn't like it quite as much as the IMDB raters did. Although it was nominated for 6 Oscars, including Best Picture, it only won one for Best Supporting Actress, Patricia Arquette. (I find that a somewhat surprising win, but I haven't seen the movies with the other nominees.)

Anyway, you probably know the gimmick: the movie was filmed over 11 years (May 2002 - August 2013) with the same actors. This worked pretty well for me. It focuses on Mason, starting when he's seven years old, living with his mom (Ms. Arquette) and bratty sister (Lorelei Linklater, the director/writer's daughter). Mom has split up with bio-dad Mason Senior (Ethan Hawke), but he's still an occasional presence.

So, what happens? Basically, time. Mom gains and sheds a couple husbands (apparently driving both of them to drink, one to physical abuse). The kids do kid stuff appropriate for their age, including sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll. Dad eventually becomes respectable, but not respectable enough to avoid giving Mason Jr. some poor advice about relationships.

It sounds as if it might be boring. Some people have found it very boring. Not me, though, because even though the problems of these four little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, I still found them interesting enough to want to know what happened next.

However: it's long (2.75 hours) and drags significantly in the final third. Maybe you'll want to hit the play-faster button on your remote?

I can't help but wonder if they're secretly working on Manhood, to be released in 2025 or so.


Last Modified 2015-04-14 8:37 AM EDT

The Phony Campaign

2015-03-15 Update

[phony baloney]

Betfair's customers continued their on-again, off-again betting on Joe Biden becoming the next US President, by dropping his odds all the way down to 32, below our arbitrary threshold of 30, so he's gone again this week:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2015-03-08
"Jeb Bush" phony 877,000 -114,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 449,000 -1,201,000
"Bobby Jindal" phony 203,000 +7,000
"Rand Paul" phony 162,000 -2,000
"Scott Walker" phony 142,000 -101,000
"Marco Rubio" phony 85,700 -1,900
"Elizabeth Warren" phony 80,200 -4,000

But I was somewhat surprised that last week's upsurge in Hillary's phony hit count seemed to be one of those Google Glitches. I really thought that the e-mail thing was so transparently phony that she would be back in the lead for good. But perhaps Jonah Goldberg is relevant here:

If you want to know what Hillary Clinton would be like as president, you’re seeing it right now. There is no other Hillary. This is her.

Or: this is not the phony Hillary; it's the real deal.

  • That doesn't mean, however, that we can't enjoy Reason TV's Remy with his commentary on the imbroglio:

  • Even some reliably left-of-center folks are pointing out a certain level of inauthenticity in Clintonville. Like John Heilemann, speaking on BloombergTV to Campbell Brown about the Clinton Foundation's acceptance of dirty dictatorship money:

    “What she generally says is that she was a champion for women and girls. You look at these donations. You look at the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Algeria, Brunei. These are brutally oppressive regimes to women,” Heilemann told guest host Campbell Brown. “It makes her seem like a phony, even if it doesn’t cost her a single vote, it takes away the bragging rights, it seems to me, of being able to say, unambiguously, that she’s a big champion for feminist causes around the world.”

    Seem like a phony, John? What would it take for you to drop the "seem"?

    (Also, John: those countries are brutally oppressive regimes for everyone, not just "to women".)

  • But gosh, let's not dwell on Hillary. Jeb Bush came to our fair state over the weekend. Our local media conglomerate reports on his Dover visit:

    “I’m George’s boy, Barbara’s boy … and George W.’s brother, and all of that I am very proud of,” he said. “But, I know if I’m going to go beyond the consideration of running I have to share my heart and tell my life story in a way that gives people a sense I care about them and have ideas that will help people rise up.”

    Following hot on the heels of this AP story on his appearance in Bedford:

    Just because there is “political heat” around an issue, Bush said, “you don’t abandon your core beliefs.

    “You need to be genuine. You need to have a backbone,” he added.

    Mark Krikorian only needed a tweet:

    On the off chance you don't get the "stage directions" reference, here's a walk down memory lane from Jonah G. What is it with New Hampshire and the Bushes?

  • Also in our state recently: Scott Walker. A couple of AP hacks used the occasion to pen a hit piece: "Scott Walker Draws Scrutiny From GOP Rivals For Changing Positions". They found a local pol to quote:

    Steve Duprey, a Republican national committeeman from New Hampshire who is not aligned with any candidate, said Walker is relatively unknown among voters in his state — meaning the governor is subject to definition by his opponents.

    "You have to be an authentic candidate," Duprey said. "If people think you're flipping left and right, that sticks with you."

    But to be fair, Walker has taken stands that are easy to characterize as inconsistent on immigration, ethanol, abortion, and Common Core.


Last Modified 2015-03-15 11:41 AM EDT