Boyhood saw its theatrical premiere in summer of 2014 and continues to be a movie of growing popularity and prestige.
The film won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama and is nominated for an Oscar for Best Motion Picture of the Year.
The groundbreaking film is the first of its kind, showing a simplicity in story, but a complex style of filming that followed the same cast over 12 years. If anyone asks what this film is about, the easiest explanation is that it is about, well, boyhood.
Boyhood is our generation’s home video, made by us, for us, and dedicated to us. Beginning in May 2002 and ending in August 2013, the cast and crew of this film came together for a week each year to film the progression of this story about growing up, while literally growing up and maturing. Writer and director Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Bernie) changed the way film can be watched and received. In fact, he introduced something amazing that film has the ability to capture: life.
Ellar Coltrane plays Mason, who progresses through life as the central star of the film. The audience meets Mason while he is five years old and follows his progression until he hits the ripe age of 18. He grows up alongside his older sister (Lorelie Linklater), and his mother (Patricia Arquette). Ethan Hawke plays Mason’s father, who is more of the best friend to his kids… and only every other weekend. Mason gets acquainted with a number of people throughout the movie, from step-siblings to stepdads, from a high school girlfriend, to harsh teachers.
The audience has the privilege of following Mason’s life as if it was documented specifically to induce nostalgia into our hearts, as we come across familiar Britney Spears songs from the early 2000s to today’s music. For our generation––the generation of college students in the 21st century––this is the first movie where we can recognize the progression of video game consoles, clothing styles, and cell phones.
The movie is very creative, though it is not hard to follow, nor is it anything close to boring, which might have been a concern with the two hour run time. Mason and the audience simultaneously wrestle with life. He comes from a broken home; he is raised by a mother who is just as confused with life as he is. At the beginning of the twelve-year journey, we meet the “cool dad” who is more committed to his music than his relationships. Years later (and when I say years later, I literally mean years later) we see that same dad, but this time in a sweater vest, driving a mini-van, and with a new wife and child. This seems to confuse Mason, but it helps him to understand that people change over time, even those closest to him.
The culmination of the movie begins the official beginning of Mason’s life. On a hike with three new friends, the film provides one of the most thought-provoking final lines in film stating, “You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment? I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking it’s the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us.”
Run time: 165 minutes
IMDb rating: 8.3
My rating: 5/5