Out Now On-Demand
Longitudinal, observational coming-of-age drama from Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused), claiming Best Director and Best Film (Drama) at the 2015 Golden Globes. The movie was made over 12 years, filmed in annual periods, watching the boy (Ellar Coltrane) - as well as co-stars Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette (who won the Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe for her supporting role) - age and change. Hawke described the unique production as "timelapse photography of a human being".
Opens with dreamy-eyed grade-schooler Mason (Coltrane) facing upheaval: his devoted, struggling single mom Olivia (Arquette) has decided to move him and older sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) to Houston just as their long-absent father Mason Sr. (Hawke) returns from Alaska. Through a tide of parents and stepparents, girls, teachers and bosses, dangers, yearnings and creative passions, Mason emerges to head down his own road.
Ethan Hawke explained the ambitious project in 2013: "Linklater and I have made a short film every year for the last 11 years, one more to go, that follows the development of a young boy. I play the father, and it's Tolstoy-esque in scope. I thought the Before series was the most unique thing I would ever be a part of, but Rick has engaged me in something even more strange. Doing a scene with a young boy at the age of seven when he talks about why raccoons die, and at the age of 12 when he talks about video games, and 17 when he asks me about girls, and have it be the same actor - to watch his voice and body morph - it's a little bit like timelapse photography of a human being."
Best Supporting Actress (Arquette), Academy Awards 2015; Best Film, Supporting Actress (Arquette) and Director at the 2015 BAFTA Awards; Best Film (Drama), Director and Supporting Actress (Arquette) at the 2015 Golden Globes; Louis Black Lone Star Award winner, SXSW 2014
Rating: M Violence, offensive language and drug use
Boyhood is a staggering cinematic achievement, all the more so in how readily you’ll lose yourself in this broadly sketched tale of a life rather than pick apart how it has been uniquely assembled. For twelve years Richard Linklater has been shooting episodically, striking gold all over the place in the process – most notably in the form of Ellar Coltrane, whose lead performance as Mason is what this ambitious project hinges upon.
Following Mason from childhood through adolescence, Boyhood doesn’t just capture this young man’s physical and personal growth, but that of the key figures that orbit him: separated parents (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke); sister (Lorelei Linklater); and first love (Zoe Graham). While Arquette’s performance is a standout, Linklater conjures emotive, naturalistic performances from all his cast, so as the film works its magic and the years pass by, one can’t help but be captivated by the lives unfolding onscreen.
That’s all the more impressive with Boyhood, for the most part, avoiding making the obvious dramatic moves we’re conditioned to expect in film. One might anticipate seeing Mason’s emotional highs and lows unfold in traditional fashion, but more often than not these pivotal moments take place offscreen, the audience left to ponder the ripples they leave on Mason and his family across time. That this forward momentum is conveyed more through the years’ contemporary music and the physical changes of Boyhood’s cast is another contributing factor to the film’s unforced feeling as it moves along at a pace of its own. Linklater casts a spell that defies you to not be moved, and captures the incredible complexity, richness and emotion of every one of our unique lives in the process.
Time Out New York
Total Film (UK)
New York Times
At The Movies (Australia)
A long film but one of the best ive ever seen. Each actor could of been the main character to the story. You sat there thinking this could be my life.
This is one of the most overrated films I've ever seen in my life. Painfully banal and monotone! Typical artyfarty blabla, new age I have to make myself intellectually impotent about nothing kind of movie. The perfect movie for those with a personal number plate I guess.
Possibly the best movie of the year!
Quite a long film, but it doesn't feel like it! Loved this unique movie, some bits were funny and others were quite sad. The process of seeing the characters grow and change was something I've not seen before, and worked really well. The effort put into this film is well worth it and appreciated by the whole audience as far as I could tell!
This is a very unique film shot over a 12 year period using the same actor playing a kid from age 6 to 18. It shows what he deals with growing up as an adolescent to a man. The journey is amazing to watch. Very well acted. Especially Patricia Arquette as his mother. The scenery of the small town in Texas is great to look at as well. Richard Linklater has created a film here that is for the ages. You can feel like you were watching yourself growing up from a child to an adult. Every person can relate to this film. I think it will get recognised at the Oscar with many nominations next year. This is one of the best films I have seen in a long time. Easily the best film of the year so far. Five stars
The time test
The director Richard Linklater treats film more than just an art. In fact he has tried several tests in various forms of filming (like his BEFORE series, Scanner Darkly). The BOYHOOD is just his latest test with TIME. By shooting consecutively in 12 years, he has made the film plainly genious by the form itself.
In 2002, Richard Linklater began his ambitious 12 year project. Casting actor Ellar Coltrane and filming him every summer for a week from age 6 to 18. Together they made something monumental. Linklater's coming-of-age magnum opus Boyhood, is an extraordinary achievement. Boyhood tells the story of Mason. His parents, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, are divorced and has an older sister Samantha, played by Lorelei Linklater. Ellar Coltrane's performance is excellent as Mason and Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette are great as the parents. Linklater's script is funny and clever. As time moves forward, we see changes in technology and pop culture. The soundtrack has Coldplay in the opening scene and Daft Punk in later scenes. Mason goes from playing Game Boy Advance to Xbox to Nintendo Wii. This is a film almost everyone can relate to. Richard Linklater's masterpiece is essential viewing.
Forgetting even the interesting story of the films production, this is a really unique, special film. Very charming, funny, unpredictable - and thankfully unsentimental. Great performances, especially from Patricia Arquette. Will stay with you.