Movie Review: Boyhood


In my desperation to procure some last minute tickets to an event at Sundance Film festival this year (2014), I ended up with a “to be announced” venue meaning what I was going to see was subject to rumor-mill until shortly before the event. By happenstance it ended up being a viewing of the movie “Boyhood” by Richard Linklater. Going into this show I knew nothing about it. I overheard several people mumbling of how long it was. I heard one person say 2 hrs and 44 minutes and I was telling myself ; Oh man, I hope this doesn’t suck. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

At the beginning I seen what I expected to see in an indie film. Acting that could have been better and a specific technical error that probably wasn’t noticed by anyone else except myself. This was just at the beginning though. Before I realized it, I was completely drawn in. This film pulls, pushes and prods at so many emotions from so many different angles there can’t possibly be anyone out there who isn’t able to directly relate with some aspect here or there. Most likely you’ll find yourself torn between trying to focus on the film and comparing and analyzing your own life against it.

Technically, I guess its a “Coming of Age” film and in general it focuses on a boy (Ellar Coltrane) starting at the age of six and documents his life until he graduates high school and moves away to College. Soon into the film I was asking myself how they managed the age progression of the actors. I know how well filmmakers can manipulate the appearance of age, but I was like ok; either they found some dang good look-a-likes and impressionists or they filmed this movie over a long period of time. Come to find out later, and oddly to my surprise, but by no surprise, it was filmed over a long period of time. Apparently everything about it, with the exception of its existence was kept secret so it became known on the street, so-to-speak as Linklaters “Twelve year project”. Learning this information answered a lot of questions and overall made a lot of things make more sense. For example, the acting of Patricia Arquette. I’m not saying it was bad to start with, but throughout the movie the progression of her skills was absolutely impossible to ignore and undeniably outstanding. Its hard to explain in words how deep this film penetrates the soul, but, not just her acting, but the progression of her acting throughout the film, brought a level of depth that she should certainly be commended for. Hands down.

I would also like to mention Lorelei Linklater who apparently is Richard Linklaters’ daughter, and in the film; older sister to “the boy”. Her acting is certainly unique if nothing else. It’s complex; its as though she is shy, but full of wit, charm and a connivingly subtle sense of seductiveness. Her style certainly can’t be compared with anyone else and if it reflects her real life personality, which I’m sure it does, I’m hoping to take her out on a date sometime in the very near future.

There was something quirky about the ending in reference to another male character, that I feel could have been toned down. I’m not going to mention details because this is a must see and I don’t want to ruin it for you. What I’m referring to is about the last 5 minutes, but with that said, the ending ending, as in the last 15-20 seconds or so, was positively brilliant and essentially summed up the entire film in and of its-self.

This was an excellent film and I am genuinly honored that I was able to see it in the manner in which I did. At its end, the cheer and applause of the audience was without question; earned and justified.

This film is supposed to be released sometime in late 2014 and I highly recommend you make it a point to see it. The one question I was left with was; How exactly did he get to college? It goes from a scene of him moving out of his home to arriving at his dorm room. It didn’t show how he commuted from his home to college. To know why that bears any significance you’ll just have to see the film and the essence of that question more or less sums up the entire feeling of wanting to know more, which you will feel throughout the entire film.