"BOYHOOD" from IFC Films opens Fri., July 11, 2014.
STARRING: Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater.
DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater ("Dazed and Confused", "Before Sunrise", "School of Rock", "Bernie")
SYNOPSIS: Twelve years in the life of a family. Mason (Coltrane) and his older sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), learn to face the realities of growing up while their divorced parents cope with the onging challenges of parenting in an ever-evolving landscape.
This will easily qualify as one of the most fascinating final products in the history of cinema. The film's distributor, IFC, gave director Linklater nearly complete freedom to film what he wanted over a twelve year timeframe. The four principal actors committed to this production schedule. The result is that the audience gets to see them all age in real time as Ellar, the centerpiece of the film, grows up and graduates high school. This is as close to being time-lapse photography/story-telling as has ever been attempted.
It's also high-risk filmmaking. Within a twelve year timeframe, anything can happen. Car crashes, death, broken bones or life-changing illnesses, loss of interest and business-related alterations to the funding are all logical possibilities hat must be taken into account. Thus, this level of commitment by cast and crew is amazing. It means that all four cast mates and the director were beyond serious about the making of this film. In two days, it will be in theaters and deserves attention just for that reason.
But beyond that, it's a good and powerful story that bubbles over with reality. So many things have changed since 2002 and the story often had to be written on the fly. Things like technological advances, presidential elections and a host of socio-economical changes had to be factored in almost as they happened. This is an incredible accomplishment in filmmaking and Linklater richly deserves to be acknowledged for it--along with the cast.