30 July 2014

Boyhood 1

Completely and utterly unique. Richard Linklater has pulled off one of the most daring and inventive cinematic landmarks ever seen on screen by creating one the most quintessential coming of age stories ever put to celluloid. This feature, that spans over 12 years of real time, is emotional, gripping and entirely original.

Boyhood weaves an intricate look into the development and growth from childhood to adolescence from the perspective of the film’s lead character Mason Jr. (Ellar Coltrane). However, the film in fact goes beyond depicting the flourishing life of this small boy, rather Linklater focuses on the development and growth of all of Mason’s family members. As Mason Jr. tackles common tropes of rite of passage/coming of age pictures like not knowing what to do with ones life, Boyhood gives, what feels to be, an unprecedented detailed look into parenthood. His mother, (played exceptionally by Patricia Arquette) and his father (Linklater’s muse Ethan Hawke) similarly evolve as Mason does as the film unfolds like a pseudo-documentary. While the lack of conventional narrative formula could deter some, this "hinderance" is in fact Boyhood's innate charm. Due to its construction, the film feels more like an anthology of short films juxtaposed together to create a vast canvas of life showcasing all of its follies.

The innate message that Boyhood teaches is that life is a set of milestones that one comes to during their time here on earth that we learn from and in turn informs who we are as people. An intriguing aspect of the film that I found to be quite touching was it’s accurate depiction of growing up during the “naughties” and commentary in general upon the first decade of the 21st century. From myself being only eight days older than Ellar Coltrane, I felt a huge hit by what could only be described as a train of nostalgia that made me feel so much smaller in my seat than I actually was. As I heard the music that would have scored by own childhood from the likes of Blink-182 and by witnessing events that meant the world to me growing like the release of the latest Harry Potter books and the evolution of gaming technology; I felt a connection with the character of Mason Jr. unlike any other that I have seen in film.  

While Linklater’s latest directorial effort will surely be regarded as the Mud of this year (a term as to mean, “best film of the year that will garner no Academy Recognition”), there is no question that it’s title will appear on renowned critics’ top ten lists of the year, if not the decade. Don't miss out on catching this on the big screen, Linklater has well and truly created an essential piece of modern cinema and perhaps one of the first classics of the 21st century.


You can find Alex Hannah on twitter at @themopass


Tickets for Boyhood are available now from the Box Office, by phone on 0871 902 5737 and online.