I never thought that my life could be played out in 163 minutes. While some events vary, watching Mason (Ellar Salmon) go from age five to eighteen was like watching myself grow up. Boyhood (directed by Richard Linklater) is not as film about childhood but a film documenting childhood.
So much changes in twelve years and as we watch Mason grow up we watch the world grow with him. From music to fashion we watched the American Culture evolve from the 1990’s to the 2010’s. Featuring song artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Daft Punk and Justin Timberlake the soundtrack of the film was a blast from the past and I found myself singing along…a lot.
However, Boyhood expressed much more than just cultural change. We watched what seemed to be a broken family become whole again. Olivia, Mason’s Mom, played by Patricia Arquette, was single mom of two (Mason and his sister, Samantha played by Lorelei Linklater) that never seemed to find the right man and Mason Sr., Masons dad, played by Ethan Hawke, was a divorced father looking for a way back in to his children’s lives. Being a child of divorce I completely identified with the film, I remember wanting my parents to get back together and going over to my dad’s house on the weekend. At the end of the day they were both my parents, and I loved them even during the awkward sex talks.
This was my favorite movie at the Sundance Film Festival. However, it is not a movie for everyone. The plot is as complex and simple as life is and while there is no dramatic turning point in the film, the climaxes come from getting your first car, falling in love, and going off to college. There are no shootouts or car explosion just scraped knees and bike rides and it’s refreshing. Boyhood is a film that you can just watch and enjoy, no need to overanalyze it or find some underlying message about how the world is coming to an end or how much society sucks. Watching the film is like going over to a friend’s house and flipping through their scrapbooks and watching there home video that they hoped no one would ever see. So grab some friends, pop some popcorn and watch the past twelve years of your life being directed by Richard Linklater.