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4 September 2014

Film Review: Boyhood

The new coming of age film Boyhood, directed by Richard Linklater, goes to unprecedented lengths to achieve authenticity and has been very well received by movie-goers and critics alike. The film has stellar ratings on movie review sites, including an incredible 99 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metascore of 100 on Metacritic.com

Director Richard Linklater is no stranger to film-lovers. His hit movies School of Rock, Dazed and Confused, Slacker, and his “Before” Trilogy have earned him two Oscar nominations and multiple critic and film festival awards. But what makes Linklater’s newest project Boyhood truly different from other films, is his decision to use the same cast over a span of 12 years. This allows the viewers the unique opportunity to watch the actors, and the characters they play, age right before their eyes.

Starring Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane and Linklater’s daughter Lorelei Linklater, the film follows the life of a boy named Mason from age 6 to 18.

Boyhood is delightfully nostalgic with its soundtrack of 2000’s hits and throwbacks to childhood trends.  More than that, the movie masterfully conveys the intimacy, embarrassment, pain and beauty of growing up, making it a one of a kind cinematic experience.

Some may say that Boyhood is guilty of some melodramatic lines, and I wouldn’t completely disagree. However, I would argue that the mix of cheesy and understated moments makes the movie true and balanced. Life is sometimes full of clichés and sappy dialogue and Linklater isn’t afraid to display it in all its realness.

Boyhood is important because it encourages reflection. It’s an outlet to look back on the lessons learned, and the obstacles overcome and evaluate how they’ve shaped you as a person.

The film is profound, not because it provides answers but because it raises questions and highlights realties about life. Time goes on, people grow up, and most of the time our lives are less then perfect and yet uniquely beautiful- just like the film itself.

Boyhood will be screening at the AMC Sunset Place 24 through Sept. 4.