Boyhood is a rare yet fascinating film which was filmed in short spurts over 12 years. It's a story about growing up as seen through the eyes of a child called Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who we literally see grow up into an 18-year-old. From family dinners and road trips, to major life milestones such as birthdays and graduations, we see the challenges of adolescence Mason has to face.
The Richard Linklater-directed film is based around a slightly dysfunctional family, as Mason sees his mother Olivia (Patricia Arquette) go through two turbulent marriages before discovering her true passion as a psychology lecturer, while his once untrustworthy father, Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke) attempts to change his life around.
The chemistry between the cast is impressive, really making their story as a family seem relatable. As you're seeing the characters' story progress, it's easy to become engrossed in their individual stories - Olivia's struggle as a single parent and Mason Senior's determination to connect with his kids, is portrayed well and adds to the credibility to the story.
Ellar Coltrane is endearing as Boyhood's leading actor, first appearing as a playful 6-year-old with no care in the world. We follow his life right up until his first day at university. In an interview with Variety, Linklater talked about casting Coltrane, saying: “I met a lot of smart kids, kids who were going to grow up to be class presidents. Ellar wasn’t really like that, he was more ethereal and mysterious. He’s still that way.”
At almost three hours, the film is quite lengthy but, fortunately, the hours don't drag. You're thrown into nostalgia for the last decade as a young Mason ponders whether there'll ever be a new Star Wars.
With the help of its stellar soundtrack ranging from Coldplay's Yellow to Hate To Say I Told You So by The Hives, Boyhood is definitely worth the watch.