I won’t be adding much to all the praise that has been heaped upon Boyhood. Indeed, it is a remarkable film. A fictional film that feels like a documentary. It was filmed over a 12 year period so you actually see the real actors aging over this period of time. Of course it is most striking in the young boy, Mason (Ellar Coltrane, pictured above) who ages from 6 to 18 as well as his sister in the film played by Lorelei Linklater, the daughter of the movie’s director, Richard Linklater. Linklatter was extremely lucky to have found young actors who mature so well into their roles and can really act. This gamble could have failed miserably. Perhaps the success of the film also has to do with the main actors (including the divorced parents played brilliantly by Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke) helping to shape the script itself over the 12 year period, sometimes not finishing it until the night before the shoot.
There is no real plot. This is a coming of age saga with all the blemishes and stumblings, bad choices and good, redemption and heart of growing up, parenting, and relationship. It is a series of events and passages, mostly ordinary some insignificant, yet within this intimate context, we watch the young boy evolve emotionally into a young man. And this movie works, all three hours, because it is so intimate, so very real. Its proportions, in fact, feel epic. It’s a journey we all travel. Linklater has made the ordinary extraordinary.