Richard Linklater seems to have a special fascination for the development of his characters over longer periods of time. In his Before-Trilogy, he returned every nine years to a couple, who once happened to meet on the train, to tell the next episode in their relationship. Michael Apted‘s Up Series is an obvious inspiration. For Boyhood, he filmed his actors annually for over twelve years, completing the initially partial script. The patience shown in this impressive project is admirable. Boyhood is basically a Coming-of-Age film and follows the life of a small family. It consists of a single mother (Patricia Arquette), the separated father (Ethan Hawke), her daughter (Lorelei Linklater) and the younger brother and protagonist Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltraine). While the mother struggles through college and job and slips from one problematic marriage to the next, the adolescent children give an insight into the trends of the time in terms of technology, music, video games, politics and Harry Potter. They wrestle with classic problems like new homes, friends left behind, absent fathers, authoritarian stepfathers, and so on. A beautiful, down-to-earth and mostly honest film about relationships (with partners, friends and family), growing up and youth experiences and their effects. The melodramatic is gratefully reduced to a minimum. It is not so much the life-changing events that are remembered as the small human moments between the characters.
Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke
Runtime: 165 min.
Release Date: 2014/01/19 (at Sundance)
Screenplay: Richard Linklater
Editor: Sandra Adair
Cinematography: Lee Daniel, Shane Kelly
Budget: $4 million