Richard Linklater's Boyhood is a coming-of-age drama that the director spent twelve years making. He cast a young boy, Ellar Coltrane, and shot the film a few days at a time for over a decade so that he could capture how his leading actor, and the rest of his cast, aged. The film's story simply follows a boy named Mason (Coltrane) as he progresses from age 6 to 18 and deals with the typical travails of childhood like his parents' divorce, bad stepparents, falling in love, finding his artistic voice, and fighting with his bratty older sister. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette co-star as Mason's parents.~Perry Seibert
New audio commentary featuring Richard Linklater and nine members of the film's cast and crew
New documentary chronicling the film's production, featuring footage shot over the course of its twelve years
New discussion featuring Linklater and actors Patrica Arquette and Ellar Coltrane, moderated by producer John Pierson
New conversation between Coltrane and actor Ethan Hawke
New video essay by critic Michael Koresky about time in Linklater's films, narrated by Coltrane
Collection of portraits of the cast and crew by photographer Matt Lankes, narrated with personal thoughts from Linklater, Arquette, Hawke, Coltrane, and producer Cathleen Sutherland
This movie didn't need a plot; life itself was the plot of this movie. The plot is simple; it shows a 5-year old boy growing up into a young adult. The cast wasn't just talented; they were themselves - I can't believe the movie features the same cast for the course of 10 years! The film, overall, was able to make us relate to each and one of the characters by showing us what we like, how we feel, and whom we are close to. This is truly a movie to not be missed!
The new norm for movie releases is to initially market it at around $25 but for the first few days it is released it is cheaper, or in this case $20. I managed to snag it the day of the release because I'm a young college guy and this made me feel every possible nostalgic there is. Richard Linklater is really good at depicting seemingly normal life events in a creative and entertaining way, as was the case with Dazed and Confused. This is no exception, as I write this pre-Oscars, and I am fully confident that this will likely grab best picture, as well as director. If you appreciate film, and you are looking for a story that is not complicated by superheroes, fantasy worlds, or whatever the blockbuster, you should watch this right now.
Boyhood is an ode to growing up and parenting. It is a trip through nostalgia over the first decade of the new millennium. It is not about the story, but more the fleeting feelings in each moment of our lives. It is about moments in that they are constant, a promotion to inspire the idea that there are always an abundance of memories to be made. It makes one wonder why memories are vital and reasons these are what make up the relevance of our human experience. What it is about Boyhood that makes it stand out more than the "gimmick" of creating it over twelve years though is that it highlights the moments in our lives where we don't always strive towards what our ambitions reach for. Just because you don't have what you want doesn't make that time in your life wasted time, but instead a true test of your character where it hopefully does with it something that leads to an even more invigorating experience.
This is a very personal film, made by Richard Linklater, about the universal experience of growing up in modern America. Shot over 12 years in small vignettes every year to illustrate the ups and downs of being a boy at different points in the life of the main character. We as viewers get to see his loving but separated nuclear family grow up along with him along with some other tertiary characters. It all somehow comes together into a cohesive and moving film that isn't about anything in particular but becomes a study in life.
First off, this is a LONG movie. I think the total time clocks in at almost three hours. With that being said, it was an excellent film. Granted, there was no real "Story" or plotline per say, but just showing the life of a young man through his defining years. Dealing with multiple divorces of his mom, peer pressure, step families, it was very relatable to me which made it that more enjoyable. Seeing the characters not only grow emotionally over the time period but physically made the experience that much more authentic. The Oscar win for the woman playing the mother was well deserved. Her breakdown scene at a friends house is something all parents have felt at one time or another, it just takes courage to admit it.
"Boyhood" was my favorite film of last year. The most prevalent thought I had watching it was that there were no false moments in the film and no manufactured crises to overcome. We are simply watching life unfold over 12 years as a boy becomes a young man. The performances are all superb, and Richard Linklater should be commended for having the patience and skill to create this film bit by bit for over 12 years. There are documentaries like the "7 Up" series, and fictional films such as Linklater's own "Before" trilogy which chronicle the same characters over extended periods of time, but in the span of a single film "Boyhood" is an accomplishment that we probably won't see attempted again, so savor it.
We've watched this film several times (once in the theaters), and every audience we've shared it with has been taken by the fact that we're watching the same actors over a 12-year period. Our children and their friends are part of the Millenials (or Generation Y), and they agree that this film is definitely a representation of their generation, just like The Big Chill represented the Baby Boomer generation.