Today I finally saw the American coming-of-age drama Boyhood, a film released in July 2014. Written and directed by Richard Linklater, Boyhood was shot over a 12 year period (2002-2014) depicting the transition of Mason Evans, Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) from young boy to adolescent teen – a growth that takes place in Houston, Austin, San Marcos and Big Bend National Park (all in Texas, US).
The film, at 165 minutes, is a lengthy one, but its length complements the timelapse-esque nature of the movie, effectively morphing the actors on screen. Personally, I felt astonished to be able to watch the characters grow and develop before my very eyes. This quality made the film feel like a documentary rather than a theatrical release, engaging me to the extent that I physically flinched in my seat in response to Mason, Jr.’s first stepfather, an abusive drunk named Bill (Marco Perella).
Mason, Jr. is extremely relatable. In watching his childhood I was reminded of parts of my own: sibling rivalries; parental feuds; games and toys (such as BMX bikes and the ’20 Questions’ gadget); moving house; moving schools; growing up. It is this basic storyline, delving into the every day life of an American child/teen, which makes Boyhood the witty, nostalgic tale that it truly is.
As I was writing this, Boyhood won several BAFTA awards: Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette), Director (Richard Linklater) and Best Film.
Boyhood is nominated for six Oscar awards: Best Picture (Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland), Supporting Role Actor (Ethan Hawke), Supporting Role Actress (Patricia Arquette), Directing (Richard Linklater), Editing (Sandra Adair) and Original Screenplay Writing (Richard Linklater). The 2015 Oscar awards will take place on Sunday 22nd February 2015.
You know how everyone says “seize the moment”? Well I think it’s the other way around. The moment seizes us.