A coming-of-age story that follows the life of a young man from childhood to going off to college.
The big thing about this movie is, of course, that it was filmed over TWELVE YEARS, with the cast under contract to reconvene every year for three or four weeks to film the next segment of the story, so that audiences will see everyone in this movie actually aging as the years pass.
The protagonist starts out at 5 years old, goes through school to high school graduation and the movie ends as he drives off to college, already a young man on the brink of freedom and responsibility.
This was a good movie and well made. The story was good, although nothing really happened beyond the things that happen in people’s lives- his parents got divorced, his mom gets remarried, he has friends and girlfriends and problems at school, the usual stuff.
And it was cool seeing people get older for real, instead of having them made up and pretending. The only problem was that the transitions were not always clear; a couple of times we (the movie group watched this together) had to back it up to figure out that a year had gone by; usually, the scene was different or someone had a different look, which made the transitions easier, but not always. Some kind of text or title card would have been helpful, but I think that the point is that life moves on and people change and you don’t always notice it right away, so the filmmakers didn’t want to call attention to it.
So for what it was, a growing-up-and-changing story, it was good. Not amazing, but good. There was no big denoument, no meaning, just…a story. Worth seeing once, if only for the novelty.