Time: 165 Minutes
Age Rating: Offensive language
Ellar Coltrane as Mason Evans Jr.
Patricia Arquette as Olivia Evans
Lorelei Linklater as Samantha Evans
Ethan Hawke as Mason Evans Sr.
Director: Richard Linklater
Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, Boyhood charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before and is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting.
Boyhood is an ambitious film, it’s a film that was shot over 12 years with the same actors every year to show the characters growing up without the need for alternate actors or CGI. Richard Linklater did a great job at directing this project, this film could’ve gone wrong in many ways but he keeps it all together with a well written script and a solid cast to deliver an overall great movie. I haven’t seen any of Linklater’s previous films but after watching Boyhood, now I want to.
The film is shot over 12 years, so the actors in the film are aging, instead of just having different actors in different stages of their lives or using CGI. The 12 years of filming isn’t the only convincing thing, another convincing aspect that makes them look like they are aging is the writing, which is absolutely fantastic. It follows the characters for 12 years and there was not one moment that wasn’t convincing. The movie is 2 hours and 45 minutes but it is surprisingly interesting, it’s really the family scenes that are the most interesting. We really do follow the family on their lives, and it’s the little events that are shown. Some of these events appear and never come back to them again or get resolved (without spoiling anything), just like some events in real life. The film doesn’t have too much drama, it is a smaller film and doesn’t have many subplots that continue for the whole movie, but that really worked for the film. The dialogue is also well written for the characters in the different stages of their lives and it feels very natural.
The great thing about this movie is that Boyhood’s characters are played by the same actors for the 12 years, so we really get to learn about and watch these characters throughout their lives as they grow up. All the actors, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and the rest of the cast are solid. As an audience, we become attached to these characters and they really feel human, and that’s because (along with the writing) of the acting and how genuine they feel.
The look of the movie is also quite good, it isn’t one of the highlights of Boyhood but nonetheless despite it being nothing special, it is still set up well. Also the soundtrack should be mentioned, it really does fit in well with what was going on. The editing also is quite effective in putting everything in its place.
Boyhood was one of the best movies of 2014, it’s an impressive and ambitious piece of cinema. Its remarkable 12 years of work on it was great enough to being with, the film also has brilliant writing and very good acting, resulting in my prediction that Boyhood will probably win best picture at the Academy Awards. I probably wouldn’t find myself seeing Boyhood again, the film doesn’t really have much rewatchability in my opinion, unless you are willing to study its many meanings but I think it’s still a necessity for everyone to see this film. See this movie as soon as you can, you won’t be disappointed.