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I finally caught up with Boyhood this week, and can recommend it to you unconditionally.

It is a remarkable movie. In case you are somehow unfamiliar with the premise, Boyhood is the story of Mason Evans, Jr. ... it follows him from age six to age 18, and writer/director Richard Linklater accomplished this by bringing together the cast and crew to shoot for a few days every year for 12 years. It is a remarkable trick, but more than that ... there is a kind of sobering magic in watching the characters and actors (Ellar Coltrane as Mason, Lorelai Linklater as his slightly older sister, and Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as their parents) age, without vanity or reservation, growing into themselves and also dealing with the truth and consequences of their life decisions.

One of the things one has to get used to with Boyhood is that it is a drama that in some ways is drama-free. It has none of the traditional dramas that we think of when we think of movies and TV shows. Nobody ends up hurt or dead. There are no car accidents or fatal diseases and big dramatic tragedies that alter people's ives. Rather, it is full of the small moments and decisions that alter life's trajectories, and I found it easy and natural to fall into the rhythms of the piece. And as I left the theater, and since, I've found myself wishing that Linklater and his cohorts would make another movie about Mason's next 12 years ... it is that sharply observed and constructed.

There is a business lesson in all this, by the way. In business, one of the most important things that people do is hire the right people to run and populate their businesses. It is a cliche, but true - a business's most important assets are the people on the front lines. In a movie, casting is like hiring ... and Linklater is to be congratulated for his savvy casting choices. Nobody died, or went into rehab, or lost a limb or had a career-ending stroke, which could have ended the project mid-way. Rather, they all stayed with Boyhood, committed and engaged and totally involved with the movie's success. (The same thing goes for the Harry Potter movies - credit the casting folks who picked all those folks, especially the kids, who with one exception were able to so ably populate the films for the entire saga. The only exception was Richard Harris, as Dumbledore, who passed away but was replaced seamlessly by Michael Gambon, who was younger and spryer and actually better for the later movies.)

Casting is like hiring, and hiring is like casting. It is a great business lesson, and it is on full display in Boyhood. See it.




Starting today, Amazon is streaming 10 episodes of "Bosch," a series based on the great Michael Connelly novels about LA police detective Harry Bosch. I have no idea when I'm going to find time to watch them, but I loved the pilot and I'm just going to have to figure it out. (I just wish that Amazon and Netflix would allow customers to download series like "Bosch" and "House of Cards" so we could watch them on iPads while on planes ... it would be a huge advantage.




I have one wine and three beers to recommend to you this week ...

the 2012 Three Valleys Zin Blend, which is luscious and rich and all mouth-filling pleasure;

Breckenridge Agave Wheat beer, which is perfect for a warm evening;

Hunter Belgian Amber Ale, which is a little more complex but absolutely delicious;

and Lycanthropy, one of the house brews at Cask & Larder in Winter Park, Florida (which means you can't really get it anywhere else) ... worth mentioning because it is described as a 100% Brettanomyces fermented pale ale, which I don't really understand, but it is nevertheless absolutely wonderful.
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