Director: Richard Linklater
Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Elijah Smith, Lorelei Linklater
I watched this film after seeing how well it done during the BAFTA’s a few weeks ago – I’d vaguely heard of it but didn’t know much about the cast or the story or the incredible way in which it was filmed. Boyhood follows the life of Mason, from the age of 5 to 18 and his family and filmed over a 12 year period with the same cast, the actors and characters grow and develop naturally with the story. It’s a simple film really and tackles a variety of topics from changing schools and moving house to having parents who are separated and domestic abuse however despite the simplicity of it all, something about following the characters through a longer and more significant part of their life made it more special.
I really enjoyed this film – and I think it’s such a unique and striking way to capture a family. It’s an incredibly poignant coming of age story which I think a lot of people could resonate with in some way because of the variety of different topics and problems the film focuses on in a sensitive way. It was nice seeing Mason grow and adapt to the changes his life threw at him and his family and it was nice to see him make it at the end despite everything that happened in his life. I did find this film quite uplifting in that sense.
I thought the cast were fantastic too – I’m a fan of Ethan Hawke anyway and I though his character brought a lot of energy to the film. Patricia Arquette was flawless and Mason and Samantha’s mother – who at the beginning was seemingly struggling with the single mum status, then gets into domestic trouble with her new husband – she did tend to draw the short straw throughout the film but she dealt with it and still managed to make a life for herself which I thought was quite inspiring. I found Masons character – despite being dubbed as the main character – had the least personality out of all the cast and seemed to just “go with the flow” but I didn’t consider that a bad thing as I think that’s probably how he saw his world.
I do consider this film as quite a cinematic achievement and I loved the 12 year timeline. I’m not sure if that or anything similar has ever been done before – or ever will be done again but it was a welcoming change. A simple but meaningful coming of age story which I don’t think will be forgotten in a long time.