Boyhood is fast becoming one of the most celebrated films of 2014. Written and directed by the masterful Richard Linklater, and filmed over the course of 12 years, on viewing it is easy to see why. What Linklater has achieved with Boyhood is storytelling at its most honest and pure.
Throughout the film we follow the character of Mason, played by the wonderfully understated Ellar Coltrane, as he transitions from child to adult, literally and figuratively. Linklater’s choice to keep his narrative simple, which some may argue is occasionally slow, instead of punctuating Mason’s life with overtly forced dramatics, results in an end product that is beautifully normal. The passage of time and the milestones that are marked are universally recognisable, and when packaged and punctuated by such a sharp film-makers eye the pathos is resounding. To see the entire cast age naturally without the contrived hand of make-up and prosthetics adds a unique dimension to the already wonderful performances from the cast.
Boyhood is ultimately an intimate epic about the intricacies of growing up and Linklater should be applauded for the scope, vision and execution of this remarkable piece of film-making.