drive away, Mason is looking out of
window at his friend not knowing whether or not he would really see him again.

Witnessing that, we have a better understanding of the children’s discontent
with their mother’s decision about moving.

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time moves on, we then come in contact with their father for the first time
just as they do. In this specific scene they go bowling and try to make up for
the year of lost time they haven’t seen each other. Mason struggles at trying
to knock down the pins in the lane and conveys that he needs the side bumpers
to help him. His dad then replies with, “life doesn’t give you bumpers.” He
slightly touches Mason to try and get his attention and does a double take to
see if he’s really listening, but has a complex facial expression as though it
applied to him more personally. I believe Linklater strategically placed that
line of dialogue there to lure more of an elder audience connection based on
life experiences.

has since gotten married and everything seems to be all rave; that is until
Mason and Samantha’s stepfather, Bill, starts to become the most intolerable
jerk they’ve ever met. Unfortunately, Olivia had to find that out the hard way.

When Mason is telling Olivia about the way he feels about Bill, Linklater
included the most perfect light setting. It is significant to pay close
attention to this aspect because the expose of the natural sunlight from the
sun on Mason’s face clearly emphasized his distress to helping his mom
understand. It goes to show just how much he cares about what he is telling
Olivia. When Bill gets drunk, he gets uncontrollably angry and at dinner, the
entire family feels uncomfortable and scared. During this scene there is a
series of close-up shots to show of everyone at the table to show their reactions
and feelings. It almost makes you feel bad that you can’t do anything to help
because you don’t want to involve yourself in that circumstance.


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