November 11, 2014


Richard Linklater, 2014
Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Boyhood focuses mostly on Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from age 5 to age 18 as he endures some of the most formative years of his young life in Texas.

Linklater has a really interesting voice when it comes to looking at the world. It's evident in virtually all of his films; a sort of rebellious, looking at the clouds, lost in the music abstractism. When it's channeled through the eyes of a young boy, it continues to be engaging and visceral. Boyhood is his boldest work.  The dedication and ambition to create a movie that spans 12 years is astonishing. The production has to run on the cast's good faith due to the fact that they can't secure contracts for that length of time. All during such a critical and sensitive time in young Ellar Coltrane and Lorelai Linklater's (his real life daughter) life. Time when they are distracted by so many other things. People their age are playing football one moment and in the school band the next. Constantly running on impulses. The 12 year production even involved having a backup plan in the event that Linklater suddenly died; Ethan Hawke would step in and complete the film.

Boyhood is a beautiful, heartfelt masterpiece. It's a complete coming of age tale combined with a turbulent family drama, and the scale of it is much bigger than some of the spotty acting that may be present at times. It plays out like a rock record with some goofs that were baked in to the final pressing. After all, Led Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Loving You" wouldn't be the same without John Bonham's squeaky bass pedal. Not only are you seeing young Coltrane actually age through the story but you are actually seeing the wrinkles on the faces of Hawke and Arquette appear over time, and with them the memories of their comprehensive characters develop. The chapters of their life unfold and you are there on the journey. The ebbs and flows, ups and downs. The more bountiful days, the more desperate ones. It's captivating, exhaustive, and just real. 

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