Boyhood

Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke
Directed by Richard Linklater
Rating: B

Boyhood is an incredible movie based on the fact that it took twelve years to film so the audience gets to watch as these actors and actresses grow up on screen gracefully.

The story follows a Mason (Coltrane), at the start of a movie as a six-year-old boy, and his family who struggle to find a stable way of living. Mason’s parents are divorced, so every now and then he and his sister Samantha (Linklater) get to spend a weekend with their dad. His mother (Arquette) meets a string of suitable men but time reveals a nastier side to them. Meanwhile, Boyhood shows us life from friendships that come and go, a father who is slowly maturing to proper fatherhood, and first love.

Boyhood takes viewers on a slow journey through life and as the target audience is in the “R” crowd, they will also be taken through a nostalgic tour. We get a glimpse of the Harry Potter phenomenon when the mother reads Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to her children in bed and watch as the kids pick up their copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at the midnight release party. Little Samantha annoyingly wakes up Mason to do a rendition of Britney Spear’s “Oops I did it Again” and later on there are many references to Lady Gaga from her “Telephone” music video to announcing her tour in Texas. Technology advances from the old Apple computers, the ones with the colored see-through backs, to Gameboy Advance, to the Wii.

To make a project about growing up, filming year by year, is an interesting concept. Boyhood is probably the only movie to have been made that way, when other movies use different actors to portray a character when they’re younger or older. It’s a good film, though 155 minutes is a long time to watch. The actors and actresses dedication to making this film would suggest it as deserving an Oscar but in the end, it’s another movie about growing up. While nostalgic and unique, Boyhood lacks something. Maybe twelve years is too long to cover. Maybe there should be a little more attention on Mason’s friendships or love instead of skipping over some aspects of his life. Like puberty. One scene he’s a boy, the next he’s a teenager with a deeper voice. I think it would have been a truer movie to life if we had the chance to see the awkwardness of puberty instead of gracefully gleaning it over.

I’ll be looking forward to see how it does at tonight’s Oscar ceremony.

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