My Review: Boyhood

Photo: Chris White

If you haven’t seen Richard Linklater’s Boyhood yet, you better get to it.

Linklater created a story about a boy, Mason (Ellar Coltrane), his dysfunctional family and their experiences – both good and bad. Boyhood was shot with the same cast for several weeks out of each year for 12 years, allowing the audience to see the characters – especially Mason and his sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) – grow up before our eyes.
The film allows audiences to dive into a world that’s raw and authentic. We follow Mason from age five to 18. We see him go through the ups and downs of life: birthday parties, hanging out with friends, graduating high school and going off to college, his mother’s divorce and an abusive stepfather, among other things. The simplicity of Boyhood is actually what makes it remarkable. Instead of all of the made up fantasy and unrealistic story lines, the film is raw and authentic. The audience is made to feel that this is some kind of real life documentary piece. Perhaps, in a way, it is.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t provide a little constructive criticism about Boyhood. Fair warning to those of you who have not seen the film yet: it’s a pretty long one. About three hours long, actually. So, if you’re the type of person that doesn’t like a film that has a greater than two hour runtime, this one may not be for you. The slight criticism I have is a tad bit hard to explain in writing. I’ll try my best. Linklater basically breaks up Boyhood into chunks, focusing on distinct moments in Mason’s life. There are cuts in the film from one of these chunks to the next. There was a noticeably older Mason on screen but some other changes that occurred with little to no explanation. It’s easier to see rather than write about but you get the gist.
Despite those two minor points of criticism, this film is a must-watch. Especially since it’s now available on Blu-Ray, DVD and other platforms. Boyhood is by far one of the most brilliant and daring films I’ve seen. And other critics agree as the film became one of only 11 films to receive a Metascore of 100, the highest possible score given by professional film critics. Boyhood already won three Golden Globes – including the event’s highest honor: Best Motion Picture, Drama – is is undoubtedly my front runner for Best Picture at The Oscars.
I Give It An: A+

Check Out The Trailer Here

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