It's rare that a movie comes along that so perfectly encapsulates the audience watching it, with the phenomenon not usually noticed or paid attention to until afterwards. Movies like Pulp Fiction, when a mid 90's audience were looking to be re-introduced to the concept of cool, or Fight Club, when a new millennium audience were looking to be re-invigorated; these types of film don't arrive very often. With Boyhood, writer/director Richard Linklater has nailed down the current sense of dislocation in youth and longing for connection, and with Boyhood, we've been given a new generation defining masterpiece.
ilmed over twelve years, charting young Mason's (Ellar Coltrane, beyond magnificent) life from the age of 5 to 18, we see the world and his life from his perspective. We see his charming but mostly absentee father (Ethan Hawke, reliably great), we see his loving mother (Patricia Arquette, returning to form) who is prone to making the same mistakes when it comes to the men in her life, we see his sister a.k.a his best friend a.k.a his worst enemy Samantha (Lorelei Linklater, proving talent is genetic), and we see all the friends and family and potential partners that pass through people's lives over the course of a decade plus.
n odyssey of the mundanity that is everyday life, Linklater fills the not insignificant but barely noticeable running time with so many profound, beautiful, achingly real moments that you can't help but feel he's copyright infringing upon your own life. Regardless of gender, age or sexual orientation, everyone has experienced parallels to what Mason goes through, and rarely has a film-maker managed to make these tiny moments in our lives feel so big and so important.
eaturing a perfectly configured time-capsule soundtrack, lush photography, performances so lived in that they’ll probably completely by-pass awards attention, and the kind of screenwriting, direction and cinematic scope that 99.9% directors couldn't even dream of, Boyhood is funny, sad, thought-provoking, life-affirming, and as close to perfect as cinema has gotten to in quite a while.