Boyhood ****

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“Boyhood” is one the most unique and compelling movie going experiences I have ever had. Usually when a story depicts a character at multiple points in his or her life, the plot requires casting different actors to portray different generations. Sometimes they use unconvincing makeup effects to add age. Here we simply watch as a boy becomes a man on screen. “Boyhood” was filmed over the course of twelve years by director Richard Linklater.

The same young actor Ellar Coltrane plays the character of Mason from age 6 to 18. His father and mother are played by Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette who also grow over a decade during the duration of this film. We follow young Mason as he experiences growing up. He is basically raised by a single mother (Arquette) with periodic visits from his father (Hawke). Mason experiences both of his parents getting remarried which affects his life in various ways.

His mother suffers abuse from the alcaholic jerk she marries. His father, amazingly, becomes the more stable parents who finds a more loving spouse.

Step by step we experience Mason as he grows from a boy to a teenager, starts experimenting with alcahol and drugs as well as finding himself attracted to girls. The film ends with his graduation from highschool. In all honesty I could of waded through another 12 years of his life to see how he does as an adult.

From what you are reading you may be gathering that there is not much of a plot which is the point. We are basically observers in Mason’s life as he grows up. Life does not have a plot so why should this film? You do not really watch this film as much as you experience it.

The over all achievement has to be full atributed to Richard Linklater. He wrote and directed this film over a period of 12 years. Every summer he would get the cast and crew backtogether for a few weeks of filmming. How he planned and executed this film could be the subject of a seperate documentary.

Sandra Adair should get a life time achievement award for editing this together as a seamless odyssey. At no point did I feel like we were jumping from year to year. This film flows almost like life itself.

Film’s like “Boyhood” are a once in a generation type of movie. Even if people wanted to emulate it they couldn’t release their version until 2026! I urge you to experience it as soon as you can and in theatres if pos

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