Film review: Boyhood


An epic meditation on life, love and family, Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a leading contender for film of the decade.

The director filmed the coming of age tale over an astonishing 12 years, with his ensemble cast returning to shoot the latest part of the story at regular intervals.

It’s quite unlike anything seen on screen before, as the characters age seemlessly like an extended piece of timelapse photography.

Waistlines bulge and vanish, hairstyles and fashions change, and the children we initially meet as wide-eyed youngsters grow physically and mentally over the space of a fleeting 166 minutes.

It’s one of these youngsters - Mason (Ellar Coltrane) - who is at the heart of the film. The camera follows him though a life low in melodrama and rich in realism, impressively eschewing both schmaltz and any references to its own lofty ambition.

Instead there’s beautifully understated performances by a cast including Linklater muse Ethan Hawk and a never-better Patricia Arquette, who never let the logistical accomplishments get in the way of the story.