Every Bit As Good As You’ve Heard
BOYHOOD (IN THEATERS/2014) This film from Richard Linklater (Writer/Director) has been called “ground breaking” because he shot it over 12 continuous years (3-4 days at a time) with the same actors, showing us a real boy and all his changes, as well as his family’s, over those years. Mind you, this is not a documentary–it’s fiction. These people you come to know so well on screen are actors (although young Ellar Coltrane, who plays the main character Mason Jr., was only 6 when he started and an unknown) who remarkably didn’t sign contracts and agreed to show up every year for 12 years for this fabulous director. Even if you’ve read the reviews, it’s hard to know quite what to expect as you’re walking into the theater. What will this be like? How will it move over those 12 years? What’s going to happen? First off, let’s just say that my friend and fellow SML Reviewer Be and I were surprised to learn that the film is 2 hours and 45 minutes long. BUT, those minutes literally flew by as we were completely sucked into the story of Mason, and his well meaning parents (played so beautifully by Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke) as well as his sometimes incredibly overbearing sister Samantha (the director’s daughter Lorelei Linklater). The time shifts are smooth and feel natural–the audience follows perfectly as life moves on and changes. Mason transforms right in front of our eyes from a dreamy kid into a geeky/slightly rebellious teenager and finally into a handsome young man heading off to college and surely a good future. I won’t write more about the film because I would want any SML reader to experience it directly. But my advice is this: run right out and see this movie. It couldn’t be better.
P.S. Didn’t realize it, but the 1968 GTO driven in the movie belongs to Linklater himself!