Sundance Review: Boyhood


Director:Richard Linklater

Cast:Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane

Running Time:164 Minutes


Talk about a film that captures the slices of life that we want to bask in until our hands grow pruney and dry. Richard Linklater has created one of the most spellbinding films in years with Boyhood, the journey of a boy from adolescence to young adulthood. A film like this has never been done before in the narrative sense. Not since the Seven Up series has a film captured the evolution of a group of people year after year, like a kaleidoscope of images that capture the best and worst of times.

Set in two cities in Texas, Houston and Austin, Boyhood is a very expansively made, well-acted home video. Linklater filmed a piece of it every year for 12 years since 2002. It builds on struggles that many families deal with: the awkwardness of growing up, overcoming personal struggles and finding your place in the world. Ellar Coltrane, who plays Mason, does a terrific job showing us this raw sincerity that you don't get experience every day.

One thing I really applaud Linklater for is his trust in the audience to piece together the rapid growth and change in time during the course of the film. He nixes the idea for title cards for transitional purposes, instead the use of music is used in its place for a more organic flow, and he is entrusting the audience to fill in the voids.

Being from Texas, I was instantly charmed by the characters, their story and the scenery they used as their backdrop since I have frequented many of the places seen in the film. This film will surely be talked about for years to come, and I can't wait to experience it again with family and friends. I, too, felt like I was growing up the each passing year in the film. Boyhood should be experienced, not watched. It's a true gem.


About Matt Kerwin

Matt Kerwin

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