“Masterpiece,” They’re Saying

I had a few responses after seeing Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood at last January’s Sundance Film Festival — “historic,” “unique,” “really quite special,” “mild mannered,” “fascinating” and “a human-scale, life-passage stunt film.” But for whatever reason the word “masterpiece” never quite came to me. I’m not disputing this judgment. It just never tapped me on the shoulder as I initially sought to describe this dreamy, expertly woven, time-dimensional saga. And yet a fairly sizable group of critics have used the “M” term, and in so doing they’re laying down the gauntlet to the Academy: “This…yes, this is Best Picture material, Academy, and don’t you dare try and push this one off to the Spirit Awards! We the undersigned are saying this…really!” So far the masterpiece crowers include Salon‘s Andrew O’Hehir, N.Y. TimesManohla Dargis, Variety‘s Ramin Satoodeh, Vanity Fair‘s Matt Patches, Hitfix‘s Drew McWeeny, TheWrap‘s Greg Gilman, The Daily Beast‘s Marlow Stern, USA Today‘s Claudia Puig, etc. I’m sure there are many others. What HE-reading ticket-buyers have seen it today, and what do they think?

Here’s Armond White’s reaction in the National Review.