Richard Linklater has become one of the largest and important voices in independent cinema. Following his most critically beloved film, Boyhood, Linklater is coming out with a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused titled Everybody Wants Some, set to open on April 1st. With that in mind, let's look back on what currently stands as Mr. Linklater's top five films.
As discussed in one of my previous posts, Bernie is a dark comedy that remains both an easy watch and a fascinating court case to look over. It boasts the best performance of Jack Black's career, and remains fresh and individual in style from Linklater's previous ventures.
4. A Scanner Darkly
One of the many lost Linklater films very few people talk about, this adaptation of a Philip K Dick story is Linklater's lone venture into the science fiction genre. It uses a fascinating rotoscope animation, and challenges actor Keeanu Reeves to go out of his comfort zone to deliver a more nuanced performance. The reflection on drug addiction remains one of the more honest and true of its kind.
3. Dazed and Confused
Pretty much what put Linklater on the map, Dazed is a jukebox romp into '70s High School culture featuring an ensemble cast of many up and coming actors in their first feature roles. There's constant moments of hilarity, while as always, Linklater still leaves room for his sobering moments on fleeting adolescence.
2. Before Sunset
I promised myself I would only put one entry from Linklater's Before Trilogy, and it had to be Before Sunset. Linklater delivers one of the greatest romance stories of the modern era with Celine and Jesse, and like many trilogies, the middle entry is the one with the most conflict, which makes for the best conversations between its two leads. It's inherent sweetness makes for full audience investment into these characters, which we continue to grow to love.
There's no contest with this one. Boyhood received many accolades, but was robbed of the ultimate prizes of Best Director for Linklater and Best Picture. It was a full culmination of his career, combining various elements of his other films while bringing in a unique style to its story structure. We grow up with the main family, and this makes us grow more in appreciation for our parents, children, and overall times.
What's your favorite Linklater film? Excited for Everybody Wants Some? Let me know!