For as long as I’ve been reading movie blogs, I’ve been hearing the whispers about Richard Linklater’s (Sunset Trilogy, Dazed and Confused) audacious project, ‘Boyhood‘.
The star of the movie, Ellar Coltrane, was six years old when filming started, and Linklater shot the movie for a few days every year over the course of 12 years to tell the story of a boy growing up from first-grade to adulthood. Glad to see longtime collaborator Ethan Hawke in the fold.
The film tracks 6 year-old Mason (Ellar Coltrane) over life’s most radically fluctuating decade, through a familiar whirl of family moves, family controversies, faltering marriages, re-marriages, new schools, first loves, lost loves, good times, scary times and a constantly unfolding mix of heartbreak and wonder. But the results are unpredictable, as one moment braids into the next, entwining into a deeply personal experience of the incidents that shape us as we grow up and the ever-changing nature of our lives.
As the story begins, dreamy-eyed grade-schooler Mason faces upheaval: his devoted, struggling single mom Olivia (Patricia Arquette) has decided to move him and older sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) to Houston — just as their long-absent father Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke) returns from Alaska to re-enter their world. Thus begins life’s non-stop flux. Yet through a tide of parents and stepparents, girls, teachers and bosses, dangers, yearnings and creative passions, Mason emerges to head down his own road.
I can already tell this is my new favorite movie that will leave me in a puddle of tears. I would love to have a conversation about storytelling and time with Linklater. I bet he’s a huge fan of the Up Series of documentaries, which re-visits the lives of four Brits from 1964 to the present every seven years.