Boyhood (2014) – Richard Linklater

To keep things fresh and entertaining with DK Canada’s fascinating The Movie Book I’ve decided to do some leaping back and forth through the book, so that there is a larger variety of film. So I leapt to the very end of the book, and the last film highlighted is Richard Linklater’s brilliant Boyhood.

Filmed over the course of twelve years, the film follows Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from the age of six through to his arrival at university at the age of eighteen. With an eclectic, and amazing career, this may in fact be Linklater’s crowning achievement.

Over the course of almost three hours we watch Mason grow up before our eyes, while his Dad (Ethan Hawke), Mom (Patricia Arquette) and sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) try to figure out their own lives.

For each year of his life, Linklater crafts a fourteen minute sequence letting us check in on the events that have shaped him over the course of the year, and the decisions that happen on-screen that will define the man he is to become.

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It’s a stellar and incredible achievement and Coltrane is completely at ease in front of the camera, as we watch his growth spurts, his angst, and the speed bumps of life that are laid before his character.

Just the thought of making a film over the course of a decade, and the effort and planning that had to take place each year to get everyone together for a shoot, to tell the story Linklater created… it’s amazing. And it’s such a unique way to tell a story, with no recasting, just the patience of getting together once a year to tell a but more of a story.

As Mason grows he comes into himself, he discovers his passions, and begins to realise that his parents, divorced since he was a kid, are just people, they don’t have any more answers than he does, and they are just trying to get by, much like him.

Watching the moments of youth play out, and be consistently played by the same actor as they grow before our eyes, is something to see, and consequently, Boyhood is an exemplary film.

Before this I couldn’t really say I was a fan of Linklater or his films, I never got into him as a director or writer, but this one as changed my opinion of him, and thanks to DK Books’ The Movie Book, I’ll be visiting some more of his films in the future.

Check it out, and watch something amazing tonight.

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