Boyhood is written and directed by Richard Linklater and stars Particia Arquette, Ellar Cotrane, Lorelei Linklater and Ethan Hawke. Boyhood is the story of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from the age 5 to age 18, and you see how he grows up and the different people who enter and exit his life and you also see how his family grows and changes too.
Boyhood is a fascinating film as you see all the characters grow up in a matter of hours, in many ways it’s like watching a family’s home video collection. There is no real huge catastrophe or huge event that changes everything about the film, it is a child’s life and it is very relatable. Particia Arquette plays Mason’s mother who goes back to school in order to better herself and make it easier to provide for her and her two children Mason and Samatha (Lorelei Linklater). It was great seeing a single mother on screen that does make mistakes but is always trying to do the best for her children and is not judged for it.
Ethan Hawke plays Mason and Samatha’s dad and he does an amazing job. At the start of the story he is an absent father and the children haven’t seen him for a year and a half, but how his relationship grows with his kids is great to see and is very believable. He went from an unlikable character to one of the most interesting and likable characters – which is true to life as people (and our perceptions of them) change over time.
Both Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater are great actors which in a way was pure chance as they were young children at the start of the production. Coltrane especially was brilliant as the thoughtful Mason who isn’t sure about love and what the point to life is. When it comes to the end of the film you can clearly see how all the events and people in his life have shaped him into the young man he is.
The fact that Boyhood was filmed over 12 years really brings in an element of nostalgia. There are so many events referenced that I remember when growing up; queuing up for the latest Harry Potter book at midnight, the evolution of games, playing with a Gameboy SP and a Wii, and characters debating Star Wars. With the nostalgia comes the amazement of how a film like this was made.
I was lucky enough to see a preview screening of Boyhood at Universal Studios HQ in London on Tuesday and the film is still sticking with me. It is a phenomenal film that is clever, witty and pure brilliance. It is honestly my favourite film of the year so far and I urge everyone to go see it when it is released next week on July 11th.
Boyhood is a cinematic masterpiece and a once-in-a-lifetime kind of film – 5/5