Incredible achievement by the one and only Richard Linklater, following the lives of young family through twelve years.


Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke

Budget: 4 million | Box office: 45 million

IMDB: 8.5 (#83) | Metacritic: 100

Boyhood, Richard Linklater

The name Richard Linklater might be not very familiar, but he is an incredible cinematic visionary behind the unique “Before” trilogy (so far ?). I always wandered what other grand plans he might have thought of during those decades, separating Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013). It’s always been hard to imagine how can he continue a story and get the same people together after a decade.

And now I got the answer at least to the first question, but the idea of his new film Boyhood sounds even more unbelievable. You surely can’t make a film about a family, following the lives of children from pre-school years to the start of adult life, without changing actors that is. But Linklater did just that.

The IMDb summary of the film is perfectly short: “The life of a young man, Mason, from age 5 to age 18”. They just needed to add one word – literally. Twelve years of life are told continuously, with the same Mason (Ellar Coltrane), his sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater, daughter of director), mom (Patricia Arquette) and stranded dad (Linklater’s long time friend Ethan Hawke). Twelve years shortened into a kind of three hour timelapse. I’m sure I’ll have to watch it several times again until I’ll finally believe that this film is real. And I’m definitely sure it would be even more amazing to watch behind the scenes of this unbelievably long production.

As for the story, well, what story can you tell through 12 years? The most amazing thing (except the fact itself that such film exists) it’s the consistency and the flow of events through the years of the family. Of course it’s made from episodes, but each episode is so smoothly joined together that only after watching a bit of each step you realize that the kids have grown again and their lives have slightly changed.

Contextual events to highlight the period of time are picked masterfully, as also the soundtrack, which will surely bring back memories for everyone from their last dozen years, especially if the age is similar to the kids’ or their parents’. Especially parents’, as I’m sure the childhood lives of their sons and daughters eventually fly away as fast as this film.

Boyhood is truly a historical event in cinema and everybody, regardless of tastes and likes, must watch this film. Everyone will find at least a tiny bit of his or her life reflected here.

Richard Linklater
Next decade
With the fourth film about the lives and relationships of Ethan Hawk and Julie Delpy might (hopefully) come in 2022, there’s plenty of time for Linklater’s other ideas. First in line is That’s What I’m Talking About, which is as director calls it a “spiritual successor” of his famous early film about high school Dazed and Confused. Also he’s creating a TV series based on his musical film School of Rock.

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