1. “The First Oscar Lock of the Year Is Here (It’s Not What You Think It Is).” If only all Oscar punditry was as well written as this.
“So much for why the film isn’t necessarily fated to lose. But explaining how it could go all the way connects to more delicate aspects of Hollywood, and Academy, psychology. And here’s where Boyhood becomes a special case: More than almost any movie I can think of, the emotional and fascinating story of how it was made is practically part of its plot; it doesn’t need to be sold as a campaign talking point because it’s manifest in every frame. I imagine that most people who have seen the film can figure out for themselves that its conceiver-writer-director, Richard Linklater, shot it intermittently over 12 years, starting when its star, Ellar Coltrane, was 6 or 7 and reuniting him with Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette for a few days every year in Texas until he was 18. One of the most popular and durable of all Oscar narratives is the Passion Project—the story or screenplay or property I toiled away on (or the career choice I stuck with) for years and years in the face of opposition, underminers, or general indifference to my fervent belief that it/I could be something. (Anytime you hear, in an acceptance speech, ’What a journey this has been!’ you’re hearing that narrative.) Boyhood has completely commandeered that trope this year; it doesn’t matter how long anybody wanted to make Into the Woods (a long time!) or Foxcatcher (a pretty long time!) or Inherent Vice (not that long!), because no other 2014 movie—in fact, no nondocumentary movie in history—has taken ’What a journey this has been!’ and so visibly literalized it.”