Boyhood

"Essential"

Boyhood Review


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.

None of the characters is the carefully sculpted figure usually shown in films: these are living, breathing people, organically growing and changing over the years. The most striking thing about the performances (and the filmmaking itself) is that they are consistent from start to finish. Everyone grows up, but they're the same people they were to begin with. Linklater has a history of long film projects (Hawke has so far aged 18 years in the Before Sunrise series), but this film is something very special. It vividly captures the fact that all of us are a work in progress, a product of our experiences over the years. Everything that happens contributes to making us who we are now and who we will become in the future. This may not seem to be a new idea, but Linklater's film makes it hit home with a life-changing kick.

Watch 'Boyhood' Trailer



Boyhood

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 165 mins

In Theaters: Friday 15th August 2014

Box Office USA: $24.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $43M

Budget: $4M

Distributed by: IFC Films

Production compaines: Detour Filmproduction, IFC Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
Fresh: 207 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 8.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Jonathan Sehring, , Cathleen Sutherland

Starring: as Mason, as Olivia, as Mason Sr., as Samantha, Tamara Jolaine as Tammy, Zoe Graham as Sheena, Sam Dillon as Nick, as Charlie, Shane Graham as Stanley

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Advertisement
Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.