165 Min | Drama | October 2014
IMDB Rating: 8.5
Director: Richard Linklater
Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke
Boyhood Review: By some miracle, the run time of Boyhood has proved to be the exact same length as that of the forth installment of the Transformers franchise. Having slogged through nearly three hours of robots hitting robots shot from a camera permanently fixed between the thighs of our lead female protagonist a week earlier, Richard Linklater’s latest contribution to modern cinema was a more than welcome reminder that visionary filmmakers still exist, and that the actual run time compared to how long the run time feels speaks much of film quality. Boyhood documents the early life of a boy called Mason, beginning at six, then continuing all the way through middle-school, high school and eventually his move to college at eighteen years of age.
Although the story line of Boyhood is fairly simplistic and one might argue, unadventurous, the sheer ambition of the director is reason enough to hand your money over, shot over twelve years with the same group of actors, audiences can experience the true evolution of a character like never before. However as Linklater said himself, if the audience see this merely as an experiment, then he has failed at his task. Boyhood has its own story to tell. The aforementioned criticism of an overly simplistic plot is what makes the story so identifiable not just for young people, but for adults as well, the film could easily be called ‘adulthood’ or ‘parenthood’ or even take a more generalised title of ‘Life’ – Linklater understands people, and is therefore one of the few modern filmmakers who understands the importance of well-rounded, interesting and relatable characters to tell a story.
When watching Boyhood, you don’t think of the ramifications, the possible pitfalls and how difficult it must have been to make. You instead choose to enjoy it at surface level, only truly appreciating the sheer brilliance of what has been achieved after the film. Boyhood really is a once-in-a-lifetime film and therefore a once-in-a-lifetime experience for anyone watching it. Soon to be a modern classic, Boyhood a picture that will be looked back on as one of the greatest ever made.