Boyhood (2014) – Film Review

Boyhood film.jpg


Starring Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, and Lorelei Linklater

Directed by Richard Linklater

IMDB Rating: 8.2

Review written by Rachel Geiger

Boyhood is a charming and realistic look at a 6-year-old boy as he grows up over the course of 12 years. This is a beautiful film with incredible performances by the entire leading cast.

The movie begins in the year 2002 and Mason is 6-years-old. We learn more about his life, he has an older sister named Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) and a single mom. (Patricia Arquette) He doesn’t see his father (Ethan Hawke) very often. However, we do get to see the kids interact with him as he comes in to visit after going a year and a half without seeing them. As the 12 years go by, we watch the family move, his father get remarried, his mom go through two different step-fathers, He deals with both love and heartbreak, like any kid does as we gradually grow up.

The plot is extremely basic and may seem a little boring. However, once you see it brought to life, it’s not boring at all. The time goes by really quickly. The plot is relatable and at times it’s especially emotional. It’s an incredibly creative concept: filming just a little bit each year for 12 years. It wasn’t as set in stone as some other movies typically are, but I love the fact that Richard Linklater would sit down with the cast every year and see where they were at in their lives. Then they would take some little quirks that they had in real life and apply that to the character. I think it’s really cool and makes the story even more personal.

The acting performances are what makes the movie a success. Ellar Coltrane may be appearing in his first film but this certainly won’t be his last. He was angsty at all the right places and he captured the essence of the character throughout the whole movie. Ethan Hawke was also amazing as Mason’s father, the character was based off of Ethan and Richard’s real life fathers. Patricia Arquette was obviously amazing, she won the Oscar this year for Best Supporting Actress. You could just feel the raw emotion of this character. She was forced to raise her two kids by herself with little support except the two times she married, both of which were drunks and one was particularly abusive. The most emotional moment for me was when she cried and talked about how her son is just leaving for college and doesn’t care about her anymore. It was just really spot on.

Richard Linklater is a remarkable director, largely due to how he forms personal friendships with his cast. Linklater has worked with Ethan Hawke on various different projects because each experience is awesome for them. In this particular movie, his directing skills play a big role. It takes a lot of work to be able to pull off a project like this one. Filming for over the course of 12 years takes dedication and an important vision that the director wants to bring to life. Linklater was the director able to bring a relatable story to life.

This is a one of a kind film that was able to bring this coming of age story to life as we literally watch the characters age and mature over the course of a little less than 3 hours. These are all characters that we sympathize with and it’s a special experience because of how emotional and real it all is. If you haven’t seen it, rent it right away! I know it only ended up winning one Oscar, but it should’ve won more than that. Be sure to watch it!