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Boyhood Review: A Payoff in Patience

Boyhood movie


The fact that director Richard Linklater shot this film in “real time” (12 years, a little each year so the actors aged with their characters rather than with makeup or being played by different actors in the case of the children) is a good hook to peak curiosity and get the cheeks in the seats, but it is not merely a gimmick. Many people have been through the situations presented in the film, or at least know people who have. The story follows Mason Jr., a boy living with his single mother and older sister. Olivia, the mother (Patricia Arquette) is possibly the most sympathetic character in the film as she makes a lot of sacrifices that others benefit from (like Mason Sr., the estranged father of her children. Played by Linlater go to man Ethan Hawke).
The entire cast whether playing principal or supporting characters, are terrific in their roles. Ellar Coltrane who plays Mason Jr., will probably become a heartthrob in years to come. If he picks the right roles, he could have a long career. He could excel at “high art” films or films featured at Comic Con. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette both do a great job showing the emotional growth of their characters. They had plenty of time to reflect on their characters between filming, and it appears they used it well. Lorelei Linklater may have been cast due to nepotism, but her performance shows that nepotism isn’t always a bad thing. She did well playing a girl angered and shaped by the constant change in her childhood. A lot of that change came without warning.
The film is nearly three hours long. It feels long, but not in a bad way like Transformers (any of them) but in a good way like The Wolf of Wall Street. It feels long because of the effective way Linklater shows the passage of time. This writer certainly wasn’t rubbing circles on her temples begging the film to end, but was completely engaged in the story of the family (but did regret drinking coffee before the film started). This writer won’t preorder the DVD/Bluray combo pack, but will likely buy it at some point and will recommend it to others.