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A one-of-a-kind cinematic experience that more accurately encapsulates real American life than perhaps any other film I've ever seen. It's not so much about having a "storyline" like we are accustomed to seeing in movies, it's more about the gift of life, and keeping a true perspective on it all. With this film, Linklater has proven, perhaps against the winds of everything I learned in film school, that there does not need to be a major battle won, or a villain defeated, for us to embrace a character and grow to love them. The only real antagonist here is life's most subtle one... the passage of time itself. All we are seeing as the audience is a normal family go through normal stresses and experiences, but Linklater has made us a part of the experience, so that by the end of the film, we love these people, simply because we've witnessed their growth as human beings. I guess, in a strange way, Linklater leads us to realize what makes us love -- it's being allowed to see one's humanity.
Maybe I'm digging too deep, but the fact that this film is even making me ask these questions should tell you how special I think it is.
Definitely my favorite movie of all time. Watching it has a significant place in my childhood memory. It's more than a coming-of-age tale; it's a timeless, simple, and emotional masterpiece, and the most accurate portrayal of friendship I've ever seen in any piece of art.