About a month ago, I was watching an episode of Live! With Kelly and Michael and Ethan Hawke was a guest promoting his new film. I first caught the film’s name when they were about to cut to a commercial (originally I wasn’t even paying attention whatsoever). It was called Boyhood. On the talk show, Hawke spoke about how neat it was to see the kids grow up, but himself and co-star Patricia Arquette just got old looking. I wasn’t sure what he meant by this. That’s when I heard the movie was actually filmed over a 12 year time frame. It blew my mind. I had to see it because I had never heard of that being done before and I figured it was something special.
So a few days later I saw the film. I initially worried that it wouldn’t keep my interest since it was almost 3 hours long. I had nothing to be worried about though. Not only did it keep me entertained for its entirety but I also left the theater feeling unexplainably positive. I love when movies give me that feeling and I loved this movie.
I would classify it as one of those “coming-of-age” type films, yet it was not over done. It covered some major life events, but not to the point that it got too cliche or too cheesy. Through the events in the movie the audience is able to see how life shapes the main character, Mason, from point A of being an active 6 year old to point B of being 18, in college, and trying to figure out the world. (Hawke plays Mason’s father in case you were wondering.)
Because filming did take place over 12 years, I think this movie had an advantage over others that have occurred through time. It was so culturally relevant through the clothes, music, and interests of the kids/parents in it. It was as if the writers/producers/director/etc. took current events from the year they filmed and incorporated them into the feature such as the 2004 presidential election and the pop culture craze of Harry Potter. This attentiveness to detail of each time period added to Boyhood’s specialness. Of course, watching the characters grow and age was pretty special too.
I know this film came out a month ago. Its time in theaters is probably coming to a close soon enough if it hasn’t already. But still, go see it. If its not in your local theater, keep a look out for the dvd release. I promise you’ll want to say you say this film. I promise you’ll be captivated. Mostly, I promise this journey through time is worth it.