The vision alone is enough to commend this film, but the fact that Richard Linklater has pulled it off so eloquently, seaming every year of the young boy Mason's life into a three hour film. Casting of Ellar Coltrane to play the boy Mason was a decision that paid off very well. We are invested in every part of his story and his transition into adulthood and at times it feels like we could be watching a documentary, his acting is so spot on. It felt like I had been on a journey with Mason throughout his life and felt sad when I had to leave him at the end of the film. To accompany Coltrane on his time lapse is the brilliant cast including Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and Lorelei Linklater. Although this is mainly Mason's story it is also intertwined with rest of his family giving us a look into the lives of three very different characters over 12 years.
Not one point of the film seems rushed or incomplete, the snapshot in time is something of pure cinematic brilliance that was incredible to experience. It is a very personal film, I don't think anybody could watch it without connecting to Mason's experiences in one way or another. Not everybodys childhood will be the same but there will be definite similarities, Mason is pretty much the same age as myself presently, so I spent a lot of the film thinking 'was I that small when that song came out?' or just becoming nostalgic at certain aspects of the film that were similar to my own life.
As with any Linklater the film, the soundtrack is brilliant. It is also used very effectively throughout the film to help set the period as you are never told throughout what the year is, you just have to look at the misc-en-scene and listen to background music to figure it out. And there are some great tunes to listen out for.
To add to what is already a well written, perfectly edited and amazing snapshot of life, is that the film is also beautifully shot. The cinematography is great and the film looks brilliant throughout and is never let down during its 12 years worth of footage.
I can't think of anything wrong with this film, it may have a long running time but not at one point does it drag or get boring. I was fully invested in Linklater's masterpiece throughout and it truly is an achievement in film and cinema as well as being one of the best films this year has had to offer so far. I am giving Boyhood a rating of 5/5. So put down your Transformers tickets and go spend your money on a movie that deserves everybodys attention!
What did you think of Boyhood? Did you love it as much as I did? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!