From writer and director Richard LInklater – who has brought us such films as 1993’s – Dazed and Confused, 2003’s School of Rock, 2005’s Bad News Bears and 2011’s true life story of BERNIE, comes a film of EPIC PROPORTIONS – as it took 12 years to make – following youngster Mason (Ellar Coltrane) through his life and everything he experiences from age 6 to age 18 – with his latest cinematic masterpiece BOYHOOD.

Single mom (Patricia Arquette) is struggling to raise her two young children Mason(Ellar Coltrane) and Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), since their father (played by Ethan Hawke) has been, as they say, non-existent in their young lives thus far.   Mason finds himself struggling through life, wanting nothing more than what most youngsters want from their divorced parents – for them to get back together. 

When their father decides it’s time to be more involved, both children reap the benefits of having him back in their lives.  As their mother wants nothing more than to give them the family that they long for, she ends up marrying her college professor Bill Welbrock (Marco Perella), who also has two kids of his own, which should make for one big, happy family – yeah right!  This happy family becomes anything but, as Welbrock’s drinking takes its toll on his relationship with not only his wife, but all four of the children being subjected to his abuse. 

Mason and Samantha’s mother finally wakes up to what is happening around them, as she leaves this marriage too, only to once again dive in to a destructive relationship and existence for her and her two children, while they try to find some normalcy in the world that seems to be swirling around them…..year, after year, after year…..

Will Mason ever find piece and a sense of accomplishment as he grows from a boy into a man in the crazy world that surrounds him?  Or will he be caught up in it all, only to be swept into the oblivion of what lies ahead for him in adulthood?

I give BOYHOOD an A:  The incredible progressions of watching the same child grow from a youngster into an adult (and his sister too) was just spellbinding, as we have never had the opportunity to experience this on screen, until now.  Actually seeing all the characters of this film grow and mature over 12 years – even Arquette and Hawke – was truly astonishing.  The storyline that Linklater wrote too was just as significant in this process, as getting these actors to sign off on making a movie that would lock them down for such an extended period of time. Coltrane’s performance was incredibly moving as well as you have the opportunity to watch him grow from child actor into adult actor, with as much talent being conveyed as many seasoned actors I have seen on screen.  Linklater’s daughter playing the daughter in film was also genius too, as he has her life growing up preserved on film – and what parent doesn’t love having those memories frozen in time.  You will laugh, and you will definitely cry, as you live Mason’s life and all that comes with growing up and becoming an adult.  My daughter joined me in the viewing of this film too, and she shared how surprised she was at how much she truly enjoyed viewing this film, and agreed on how incredible it was to see the same actors throughout the entire film.   If there is one film that you take the time to go see before summer comes to an end, make a point to see BOYHOOD….I promise, you will be glad you did J

Kathy Kaiser

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