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REVIEW — “Boyhood”

Richard Linklater’s one of a kind film, 12 years in the making, is the most amazing movie you’ll never want to see again.

Every year since 2002, Richard Linklater would assemble his cast of actors and film for roughly a week.  The footage was eventually assembled into this 3 hour, unique, cinematic experience. In it we watch a 6 year old boy (Ellar Coltrane) age into a young adult.  As the movie opens, Mason (Coltrane) lives with his mother (Patricia Arquette).  His deadbeat father, (Ethan Hawke) is incredibly irresponsible and is trying to cope with being a parent.  Time progresses and Mason grows into an increasingly unphotogenic, yet pleasant, young man.  His father matures along with him, while we watch his mother go through a number of bad, Lifetime Channel worthy relationships.  Eventually the movie ends with nothing major happening with the exception of time passing.


As a whole, the movie is surreal, and should be seen by all cinephiles.  It’s a unique film that may never be replicated.  But on a technical level it falls short in many areas.  Nothing really happens.  We see snapshots of Mason’s life as he grows, and while we may identify with certain segments, nothing truly compelling happens.  We simply see him exist in this life that occurs around him.  The movie starts, he ages, and then it ends.  Also plaguing the story are the repetitious bad relationships his mother goes through.  The changes in her boyfriends/husband’s personalities are so abrupt that they exist only to serve the rather non-existent plot.


“Boyhood” is unique and special enough that it deserves to been seen and discussed, at least once.  But it’s disappointing that Linklater didn’t take this concept and push it to it’s fullest potential.  It’s only slightly more than an extremely well produced home movie.

3.5 out of 5 Stars

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