Review

Boyhood is a unique film, which is an incredible un-unique statement to make.  By now, everyone has heard the almost unanimous critical praise, but never has it felt more appropriate than for this particular movie.  Directed by Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, School of Rock),  Boyhood tells the story of Mason Jr., shot incrementally over 12 years, using the same actor Ellar Coltrane.

JPBOYHOOD3-articleLarge-v2There are no huge plot devices, drama for the sake of drama, and really no plot, or at least what we’ve grown accustomed to growing up watching American and more specifically Hollywood films.  Boyhood, like many of Linklater’s most successful films features no real plot, along with minimal camera movement.  This creates the ability to fully immerse yourself in the story that’s being presented to you.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a long tracking shot or many other camera techniques which directors use to make themselves stand out.  Linklater defies many of the techniques top directors use, and soley focuses on story.  Watching Mason (Ellar Coltrane) grow up and how the  relationship with his mother Olivia (Patricia Arquette) grew over the years.

Is the movie good?  Of course, you don’t need me to tell you that.  Once it opens in a theater near you, go see it.  The 166 minute runtime may scare off the less adventurous, but the time flies by.  From year-to-year the transitions are seamless, which even though it was shot over 12 years, it feels like a complete and coherent film.

75-2The transitions were done smoothly by either the state of Masons hair or the many pop culture references to help highlight about what year that particular scene is taking place.  It works, and while I’m personally about six years older than Mason, I could still relate to what he was going through.  It’s a movie that will stick in your mind, days after you see it.

It’s a powerful movie, that takes everything we’ve come to expect, and flips it on its head.  While one of the best movies I’ve seen since starting as a movie critic, this is my  shortest review.  There’s nothing I can say about this movie that hasn’t already been said.  It’s great.  Richard Linklater has never been a favorite of mine, and along with stellar performances by the four main characters, he has crafted what some may call “the perfect film”.  I wouldn’t necessarily go that far, but it was an incredibly engaging three hours, and only a couple times did the story feel forced.  Overall, People young to old will be completely immersed in the world Linklater and crew have created.

BOYHOODBoyhood is directed by Richard Linklater and stars Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, and Lorelei Linklater.



About the Author

Peter Towe
Peter Towe
A graduate of UMASS Boston, I have successfully put off getting a "real" job, and continue to watch, produce, review, and obsess over movies. I lived in Boston while I completed my degree, and now live in Chicago trying the improv thing.