Boyhood is the story of a family, centering on the son from the age of 5 to his entering college at age 18. It would be a rather banal tale, but for the genius of Writer/Director Richard , who filmed it over a 12-year period, allowing us to see the entire cast age together as they actually have.
The Mother, beautifully played by Patricia Arquette, who had a hit TV series with which she was occupied for several years during the shoot, is trying to raise her son Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and her daughter Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) while having to deal with her initial estranged husband (Ethan Hawke) and subsequent drunkard husbands, as well.
Linklater, brilliantly, uses the device of young Mason’s changing hairstyle to signal the move from year to year and involves the audience in the milestones of birthdays and graduations to make us feel empathy for the dysfunctions of the characters as they grow up right in front of us.
It’s a unique and powerful cinematic feat.
I give Boyhood a 4 out of 5.