With all of the hype surrounding Boyhood, it is difficult not to feel an urge to watch the IFC film. Boyhood is a 2014 drama, which follows Mason Evans (Ellar Coltrane) through his boyhood, until he grows up and begins attending Sul Ross State University. The movie also explores the life of his mother, Olivia (Patricia Arquette), who has divorced from his father, Mason Evans Sr. (Ethan Hawke). Of course, there is Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), who is Mason’s cheeky sister.
The film explore Mason’s life, as he goes through a variety of changes over a 12 year period. The fact that the movie was filmed over 12 years is definitely impressive and gives the film a somewhat documentary feel. When all said and done, Mason and Samantha go through many transformations, as their mother bounces from relationship to relationship. Meanwhile, their father develops into a somewhat useful individual, as he obtains a job and eventually gets remarried.
The movie is definitely a character study, which explores realistic life changes of each member of a Texas family.
All in all, I was extremely excited to watch Boyhood, after reading the massive number of positive reviews for the film. Very rarely does a film receive a 100 metascore from the critics, which definitely caught my attention. After thirty minutes in, I could definitely see the reasoning behind these scores. Things started to change fairly quickly.
Eventually, the film takes on a static feel as it jumps from year to year. Nothing meshes the events together. One minute the viewer sees Mason has developed an interest for photography, but there is really no buildup or reasoning for this. Next, he’s found himself a girlfriend, who we’ve never seen before. Much of the film feels like an uneven jigsaw puzzle.
Ultimately, it appears that Richard Linklater was going for a documentary type masterpiece. While much of the film seems realistic, surely life isn’t always this boring. Sadly, the movie could have lived up to the hype, if it stuck with the formulate, which was established in the first 30 minutes. However, it jumps the shark and turns into a series of events, which hold no real meaning or emotions.
The critics were either blinded by the gimmick of the 12 year shoot or they were paid a great deal to turn a blind eye to the film’s many flaws. At the end of the day, my own coming of age tale was more eventful than Boyhood. With that, it is difficult to give the film more than a 4.5 out of 10, with a straight face.