Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, Boyhood charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay’s Yellow to Arcade Fire’s Deep Blue. Boyhood is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It’s impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey.
My Opinion: Shot in pieces over a decade, Boyhood could very easily have just been a technical achievement. Thanks to remarkable performances from Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and newcomer Ellar Coltrane, though, Boyhood transcends other coming-of-age stories with a sprawling story that takes mundane parts of life and turns them into a fascinating whole. The little touches help make the film: elements like the evolving music, the touches of current pop culture, and changes in fashion. A casual dismissal of the creation of more Star Wars films is particularly humorous, in light of the imminent Star Wars: Episode VII.