One of the most acclaimed films of 2014 was “Boyhood.” It is remarkable in that it was filmed over a span of 12 years using the same actors who came together a few days each year. The film is simply billed as “the life of a young man, Mason, from age 5 to age 18.” It won Best Motion Picture and Best Director at the Golden Globe Awards and has been nominated for Best Motion Picture and five other awards at the Oscars.
One of the reasons why this film resonates with so many is because it is simply the depiction of the life of a boy, his family, and the people they come in contact with. Many people can relate to the experiences of the characters in the movie — growing up, attending school, graduating, making mistakes, marriage, divorce, moving from a place you have lived your whole life, etc. One reviewer noted that the fact that twelve years of a boy’s life has been condensed into less than three hours “has the remarkable — and no doubt intended — effect of making us realise just how short life is.”
Another effect the movie has is that it forces us to think about our lives in particular and about the meaning of life in general. Through the actions and words of the characters, we are reminded of how feeble we really are and how little control we really have over this thing called life. In one scene in the movie, the boy Mason says to his father, “So what’s the point?” His father replies, “Of what?” Mason says, “I don’t know, any of this. Everything.” His father says, “Everything? What’s the point? I mean, I sure don’t know. Neither does anybody else, okay? We’re all just winging it, you know.”
I don’t know about you, dear friend, but “just winging it” does not sound like a very optimistic view of life. Most of us will admit that what we want in life is some assurance about where we are and where we are going, some direction, some goals for the future, and some peace about what that future holds. In fact, if we knew that someone could tell us where we would be and what we would be doing with our lives five, ten, or fifteen years from now, we would be happy to get that information. If someone could tell us with certainty and proof what happens after death, we would eagerly sign up to know. We don’t want to live lives of uncertainty. We don’t want to just wing it. Continue reading “GLMX #235: “What’s the Point of Everything?””