I had the pleasure to watch the film Boyhood yesterday after having failed to do so several of times due to parental issues. The film has been given 5 stars by every reviewer and comments like “One of a kind” or “Best movie you’ll ever see” are not uncommon when reading the reviews.
For you who have not year heard of this film sensation then it’s about a boy Mason, played by Ellar Coltraine and the different stages of his (fictional) life. Filmed sporadically over 12 years with the same cast, you see Ellar Coltraine or Mason grow up in front of your eyes. The film is non sensational and deals with the every day nature of being a boy in transition. It is this that makes the film magical. It doesn’t fall into the trap of having to create moments which are dramatic purely for entertainment purposes. Although the story is a fictional one you get the feeling of watching someone you’ve known in your own childhood and teenage years, like a best friend.
The film, directed by Richard Linklater was risky as Ellar could have pulled out at the age of 16 and other unforeseen events could have prevented the film from completing. I asked Ellar what he felt about the film as I thought it had some great emotional importance for him but he seemed really quite relaxed about it. I think I would maybe have felt a little exposed and embarrassed looking back at my time as a teenager but then again I did make some seriously bad fashion choices.
Surely Ellar is now guaranteed a successful career as an actor but asking him about this he seemed more keen on following his music interest, painting or even photography. These are also things that were close to the heart of Mason which leaves me wondering whether the interest came from the character or if the script has been adjusted to be true to Ellar’s hobbies. Whatever he choses to do he will have the distinct advantage that everybody who has watched the film will have a feeling of having known Ellar for a long time, even though the film is fictional and not based on Ellar’s upbringing at all.
I left the film wanting to rush home and watch my own kids, watch their every breath, make sure I don’t miss a moment, stop moaning about 5am mornings and stinky nappies. I have 2 boys who’s life I can watch every day and although I loved this film it can surely not be better than that.