Boyhood is the 12 year project of writer/director Richard Linklater that follows the story of a young boy, Mason (Ellar Coltrane), through the progression of his life from age 5 to 18. In the course of 165 minutes the young boy goes through adolescence to become a young man by movies end. Richard Linklater’s daughter Lorelei plays Samantha and likewise goes through this transformation though the movie centers on Mason.
Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawk play estranged parents that have their own ups and downs throughout the flick. Mom works to become a professor and seems to have trouble finding a suitable mate though she marries twice and raises the kids without very much help from Dad (E. Hawk). Mom provides for the kids needs and struggles to go back to school and make a way for her two children, while Dad is an every other weekend type of guy that possesses a care free spirit and seemingly offers a counter point to Mom’s presence.
I know this movie has garnered a lot of praise for its epic depiction of life…but I couldn’t help but feel like the story did not go anywhere. There did not seem to be a point and little tension or progression beyond the novelty of seeing the characters age with tiny peaks into interesting, though not grand, moments in Mason’s life as he grew up. Obviously the point of this movie was to be large because of its grasp of the small. To some extent, the life depicted seemed rather mundane. I couldn’t help but think that the story of my own life would have been more interesting to capture. It felt like they stayed away from heavier experiences that a lot of us experienced, such as a death of a loved one.
This was a movie that left me a little flat overall. It was a bit on the longish side at 165 minutes as well. It is a movie worth seeing once, though don’t go into it expecting a lot to happen.