Posted July 14, 2014 by editor in Film Reviews

Boyhood Review


Richard Linklater proves himself further as still one of the most interesting filmmakers working in today’s modern market. Boyhood it seems is the of his romantic, comedic and purely dramatic efforts in the past all paying off here together in this sweeping tale of a young boy growing up..

Any fan of Dazed and Confused and even the Before trilogy will certainly see the parallels in the work here – but the fact that he has carefully planned and executed a film that literally has taken 12 years to shoot – never mind the assembling of the footage – is truly a remarkable feat and the fact that it is such a strong drama is truly what? Masterful? or a fluke?

Whatever it is – it’s a landmark of cinema and it shall now be and forever more. Linklater is a film-maker who hides very well among his contemporaries yet more often than not can release great films on a regular basis. His subject matter can leap genre, shooting style, and even the period they are set in – but as he proves once again here, he is up to the challenge.

Boyhood in its simplest terms is the story of a boy called Mason who grows up. For a 12 year gap – spread over a two and a half hour running time we following him from the age of 6 to 18. From early school to leaving for college. From home to home, friend to friend, raised by his mother, taken on trips by his father, enduring home life with his sister, meeting girls and having a lot of first experiences and developing his own sense of the world.

There are so many parallels that young and old audiences of both the male and female variety can connect with in this story. And it is all told in chronological order using the same actors. And that is the ultimate feat that over a dozen years the filmmakers managed to keep the ball rolling and have come out with a result that is very worthy of applause, award and recognition for what it accomplishes.

To hype it too much might be to say that the film goes off on unpredictable tangents. Not so. In fact a lot of the story will in fact be very familiar to audiences, in the same way that Dazed and Confused was very familiar to audiences – even if they didn’t grow up in that era.

The trick that Linklater pulls here is that with this being a modern set story he doesn’t have to pay too close attention to the times as it is essentially about a child. But there are asides to the world, the wars, the musical trends, and even a Harry Potter book launch gets a look in. These essentially though are merely background to the focus of the film.

Boyhood is a triumph. The run time might test a few people’s patience. But even though there is bound to be an onslaught of award nominations at the end of the year for this, Boyhood will truly find its audience beyond its cinematic release.

5 Stars




Steven Hurst