Boyhood is a film that nobody has ever seen before. It was filmed over a twelve year period, following the fictional story of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as he grows up and experiences the joys and perils of life on Earth, along with his sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), his mother (Patricia Arquette) and his father (Ethan Hawke). It's a simple premise told through one of mankind's greatest cinematic achievements to date.
There really isn't anything left to say about this movie that hasn't been said before. Due to the belated release date for this film in Australia, I'm only just now reviewing it, and because of this everything you will read in this review has presumably been said in dozens of other reviews. But, Boyhood is an absolute masterpiece and although there will undoubtably be films that try to copy what Boyhood has done, we'll never see anything as fresh as this film again. Every aspect of this film comes damn close to perfection. Everything from the directing to the performances to the screenplay and to the editing. Boyhood is a film you need to see.
This film demonstrates how fast life can flash before our eyes. I feel as if I've grown up with these characters. It's almost as if I was there, watching their entire lives. It's heartbreaking to see them transcend from childhood, or boyhood as the title suggests, into adulthood. These transitions are edited to perfection. There's never a point in the film where it states to you that a year has past since the previous scene. It lets you work this out yourself, and that's all part of the fun. When I say this, I don't mean that the film tries to hide the fact that a year has past, I mean that there's never a title card or a cut to black that signifies an alteration in time. You just know when it happens due to a character's new looks or deeper voice, etc.
Boyhood is both a heartbreaking and a feel-good movie. When a film spans almost two decades, this allows the writer (and in this case, director too) to play with our emotions. There are certain scenes, some building up over the years, that are difficult to watch due to our compassion and love for these characters and their well beings. These scenes are heartbreaking, but as the film goes on this heart break is mended due to the much happier emotions given off. In fact, most of this film put a smile on my face due to its sheer innocence, and retelling of events or moments of dialogue which I could heavily relate to.
To sum up, Boyhood is one of mankind's greatest cinematic achievements to date. The direction is unbelievable, the performances are brilliant, the script both heart warming and emotional and the editing is tight and sleek.