By shooting this film over 12 years, writer-director Richard Linklater is able to explore family dynamics in an intensely involving way that's never been seen on-screen before. Watching the film is such an immersive experience that it's impossible not to be moved as the characters grow up before our eyes. But this isn't a gimmicky drama; it's a masterwork of writing, directing, editing and acting.
The story opens in as a single mother (Patricia Arquette) makes the difficult decision to take her young children Samantha and Mason (Lorelei Linklater and Ellar Coltrane) back to Houston to live near her mother (Libby Villari) so she can go to university. Eventually the kids' absent father (Ethan Hawke) arrives for a visit, and over the following years both parents do their best to raise the kids on alternating weekends. Step-parents (Marco Perella, Brad Hawkins and Tamara Jolaine) come and go, while the children grow into young adults. Samantha leaves for college, and Mason discovers a talent for photography, which will shape his future. And he also has a first experience with love before graduating from high school and facing the world on his own.
As the title suggests, the film centres on Mason, and the remarkable Coltrane ages from 6 to 18 over the course of the story. Watching him grow up physically is sometimes startling, but it's his emotional process that makes the film a true classic, mainly because his inner development is pretty much the only plot the movie has. And it's utterly riveting: over two hours and 45 minutes, there isn't a single dull moment. This family shifts and changes, going through rhythms of playfulness, private jokes, dark emotion and deep pain. They also offer a running commentary on 12 years of American history, discussing politics and other issues while making major decisions about their own lives.
Continue reading: Boyhood Review
Watch the trailer below
This weekend marks a monumental release in the history of cinema. Richard Linklater, already lauded for his magnificent ‘Before’ trilogy, debuts his film ‘Boyhood’ in UK theatres.
Co-stars Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater in 'Boyhood'
Taking place over 12 years, using the same actors, ‘Boyhood’ has unparalleled power when it comes to connoting story through time, especially in the case of Ellar Coltrane who, aged 6, started filming ‘Boyhood’ and didn’t wrap until he was 18.
Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood' has impressed critics with its novel approach to time but will audiences be as impressed when it reaches UK and US cinemas?
Boyhood is a coming-of-age film which literally follows its cast as they grown over the space of 12 years. The long filming has certainly impressed the critics but will it be as popular when it reaches our screens?
Boyhood follows Ellar Coltrane's character Mason from a child to a young adult.
When Mason was an unwitting 6-year-old boy, he had no idea - like the rest of his peers - just how much of a rollercoaster his next ten years would be. Many of the problems he would experience throughout his journey through boyhood and adolescence would remain, but either intensify or weaken with age. For example, as a 6-year-old, living with his single mother and struggling to have a proper relationship with his absent father who is living in Alaska was an issue that he would struggle to comprehend completely until he was old enough to have romantic relationships himself and understand them. Other issues that would never fade in his adulthood quest include moving homes, making friends and having his heart broken, but in the end all of those tempestuous experiences would shape the man he would become at 18-years-old.
Continue: Boyhood Trailer
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