I’ve heard it called a gimmick. Nothing more than an interesting exercise. Others see much more in it than Linklater’s 12-year challenge. They see a compelling, nuanced, real and unique way to tell the story of a modern family. I am squarely in that camp. Sure, we can make a movie the “normal” way instead of filming it two weeks at a time over 12 years but it would be a different movie. The look and feel are particular to each time period. The actors change and their conversations flow and grow as the times change. I liked these people a lot and enjoyed checking in on them and on their every day problems through out their lives. There are no major epiphanies here or huge crises that overshadow everything. For most of our lives that’s how it works. We get problems and solutions. What seemed huge at one point (divorce, relocating, high school love,…) is really not that big of a deal in the long run. We live, we learn and we go on.