Movie Review : Boyhood

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The movie everyone is talking about is set to open in Australian cinemas on September 4. Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, we watch through Mason’s (Coltrane) eyes as he grows from a 6 year old boy into an 18 year old young man. Mason lives with his sister Samantha (Director Richard’s daughter Lorelei) and his Mom (Arquette). The kids also spend lots of time with their Dad (Hawke).

The movie opens with Mom about to move the family back to Texas, near to her own mother. With her mother’s help, she can work and further her education so she can give herself and the kids a better life. The move announcement is sudden and final with Mason in particular unhappy about it. It will prove to be a life changing decision by mom in more than one way.

Once back in Texas, the kids do what kids do….they simply get on with life. Mom remarries to a man who on the surface seems genuine and loving but will prove to be yet another mistake. This pattern of bad choices in men affects the whole family again and again. It even affects Dad as he chooses to relocate often to be able to spend time with his kids. A deadbeat dad he is not.

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The movie has a vague documentary, indie feel to it because we see the two youngsters grow and change before our eyes but it is quite clearly a scripted movie. It must have seemed like such a risk to take because at any time, any one of the 4 main actors could have simply said no, they did not wish to carry on with the project. No one was under any contractual obligation to return each year for the shoots and yet they did. Amazing!

Arquette and Hawke are perfect as mom and dad. If 12 years ago you had to choose actors who could commit to this project, see the bigger picture and be prepared to do what was necessary to see it through, it would have to be these two. They bring depth to their characters and one of the movie’s great joys is watching their own relationship grow over the years as well.

There is nothing else like this movie and it is unlikely there ever will be again. At a staggering 165 minutes long …… and riveting for each of those minutes….. it proves that the big things in life are often not the big things at all. Most of this family’s milestones occur off camera (marriages, major birthdays etc) and what we witness are the rest. The mundane day to day stuff they dont make cards for but is the stuff that makes it all worthwhile. Most of your life is lived despite the milestones.

I can’t recommend this movie enough. It was wonderful on every level and it really is one movie you will regret not seeing if you miss it at the cinema.

Love Flick xx

Director :  Richard Linklater

Starring :  Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater, Libby Villari, Marco Perella, Jamie Howard, Andrew Villarreal, Brad Hawkins

Running Time :  165 minutes

Release Date :  4 September 2014

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