Astounding high-wire act for ‘Boyhood’
If there’s one movie you shouldn’t miss this week, it’s Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood,” shot over a period of 12 years using the same actors! Title-roler Ellar Coltrane was only 7 years old when he started portraying 5-year-old Mason Evans Jr., who lives with his divorced mother (Patricia Arquette) and only sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), and was 18 when he finished filming the movie!
So, you see Ellar and Mason transform before your very eyes—from a shaggy-haired chubby tyke, to the pimply and gangly preteen, to the fresh-faced young adult who’s beginning to find his place in the sun.
The viewers around us kept gasping over the natural progression of the characters as they endure heartbreak, divorces, weight and fashion changes, economic and political upheavals, as well as the “unfabricated” transformations of Ethan Hawke (who plays Mason and Samantha’s aimless father) and his dysfunctional family! You see Hawke getting older and more wrinkled, and witness Arquette’s constant battle with the bulge—which she wins in the end!
So far, the movie has won awards at the Berlin film fest, and was declared Best Film by the New York Film Critics Circle early this week.
How did Linklater manage to pull off this high-wire act? He shot several 10- to 15-minute shorts over the course of 12 years, each depicting the life of the boy, then edited them together!
It makes you think about the deceptively mundane things we do in life, and how our decisions affect even the strangers in our midst.
“Boyhood” brims with painful and life-affirming realizations, and gentle reminders about the beauty and sanctity of life. As one character asks, “Is there any point to all this?” You bet!
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