Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater, and Ethan Hawke
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Screenplay by: Richard Linklater
Although a film twelve years may be a long time to make a movie, I assure you, it was well worth the wait. Boyhood is a story about a young boy, Mason (Ellar Coltrane), and his family from the time he is about six years old until he is about 18. He must navigate a life with his sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), and deal with divorced parents (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke), his mother’s subsequent two marriages, and his father’s frequent absence.
For the two hour and 45 minutes of the film, the audience watches everyone grow up, even the adults. The film provides insight into how the characters truly mature over time and grow both individually and as a family unit, even when that family unit shifts throughout the film.
I do not know if Richard Linklater knew where he wanted to go with this film when production began more than a decade ago, but it is truly remarkable that he and his crew kept up with one young boy’s life for so long. Boyhood is an innovative film in which the audience is literally watching someone grow up. In many movies that take place over a long period of time, the actors are changed out, but in this film, the actors remained the same, which is what makes the film so special. It is not apparent at the start of the film, but by the end, all of the characters in it have a special bond, perhaps because the actors created a unique bond among the filmmakers as well as each other throughout the filmmaking process.
What is nice about this film is that even though it is entitled Boyhood, we watch Samantha grow up alongside Mason; and his parents grow, too. Though Mason is the main character of the film everyone develops in their own. Because of this, perhaps Boyhood is not the most suiting title for the fillm: "Growing Up" might have been more appropriate.
I was 20 years old at the time this film was released, and some of the pop culture references throughout the film brought back memories of my own childhood. The film is true to the time that each particular segment was shot. This chronology of entertainment also helps audiences figure out that the film is progressing, because there are not specific indicators that tell us the film is moving between years of Mason's life.
Boyhood is an important film for anybody who feels any bit of nostalgia for their childhood. While the film is almost three hours long (it feels like five hours when you are watching it), there is never a dull moment. So far, this is my absolute favorite film of 2014 and I cannot recommend it enough. Boyhood is by far the must see film of the year.
I give Boyhood an A+. If this were IMDB, I would give it a 10/10, but it is not so I guess you will just have to settle for that.
by Matthew Picus '16