I just returned from seeing Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood and I have to say this is a must-see. The film spans 12 years (literally) and you watch the main character, Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, grow and change from age 6 to age 18. The other characters: Patricia Arquette as Mason’s mother, Ethan Hawke as his father and Lorelei Linklater as his sister also age over the course of the movie via natural time. The story centers around the family dynamics of Mason’s divorced parents and the series of husbands his mother acquires over the years. The film is set in Texas beginning in the early 1970’s.
The movie was shot over several days every year for 12 years and has an organic feel since you see the children, Mason and sister Samantha, physically get bigger and emotionally become more mature over those years. Also, interestingly enough, you see Hawke’s character, along with Arquette’s, experience their own physical and emotional transformation.
This is the chronicle of a typical divorced family with a few twists and turns along the way. What makes this film unique is the actual real-time aging as well as superb dialogue, particularly between young Mason and his father, Mason, Sr.
This film is well worth the time, money and effort it will take to go see it. It is long – 2 3/4 hours – but I can guarantee you won’t notice the time. In fact, you actually will want more not less before it’s over.
Boyhood is a strong and thought-provoking film about imperfect people figuring out how to live in this world. Run don’t walk to see it. Let me know what you think once you’ve had a chance to watch it. I’ll be interested in your impressions.