Boyhood is more than a movie… it’s an experience.
In films and other art forms, the term ‘coming-of-age’ describes the narrative transition from a child to an adult. I feel we need a new phrase for writer-director Richard Linklater’s Boyhood – as it’s unlike anything done before.
For those that don’t know, the movie was shot with the same cast and crew for a few days annually over the duration of 12 years. The result is that we literally see the cast grow up before our very eyes.
It was an extremely ambitious gamble – but it paid off. And thank goodness for that, because after 12 years in the making I’d have felt terrible about giving it a one star review.
Boyhood focuses on a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from the age of seven through to the end of his teenage years. We see the highs and lows of him, his older sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater – the director’s daughter) and their divorced parents, Olivia (Patricia Arquette) and Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke). It’s an intimate and interactive look through their family album.
If multiple actors had played the role of Mason, this would have been a mediocre movie. Watching him grow on the screen was a beautiful thing to witness. I have never felt so connected to a character before – and considering one person sitting in my screening clapped as he graduated (I kid you not!) I would say that I’m not alone.
Unfortunately, Boyhood is a few faults away from perfection. Just as we’re presented with a moment of emotional tension and drama, the film skips forward a year – leaving many storylines unresolved. It also needs a harsh edit, making it much shorter… but with the film taking 12 years to make, I’m happy to let that one slide. I guess it could have been much longer.
I’m sure some people will say that very little happens throughout the flick, but that is simply not true. The stories may be subtle but they are there and brilliantly acted out. This is a triumph for everyone involved.
Due to the numerous summer Blockbusters currently dominating the Showcase, Boyhood is only being shown at 8pm. See it before it’s gone! Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk to book your tickets.
Genre: Coming-of-age Drama
Cast: Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke &Patricia Arquette
Running Time: 2hrs 45mins
Written & Directed by: Richard Linklater[youtube id=”Ys-mbHXyWX4″ width=”600″ height=”350″]