By Lisa Nault
There are many factors that go into making a movie, such as writing a script, finding actors, and working within the budget. For Director Richard Linklater, his latest project involved much more planning than any other movie. He began filming “Boyhood” in 2002 and finished filming in 2013. How could a movie take so long to film? The film is about a boy growing up, so Linklater filmed actors year after year as they themselves grew up.
The main character of the film was played by Ellar Coltrane. He began this project when he was seven years old and by the time the last scene was filmed, he was eighteen. A project like this took a considerable amount of planning and commitment. For example, Linklater made a plan that if he died during the 12-year shoot Ethan Hawke, the father in the film, would become the director. There are countless variables that could have come up over those 12 years. What if an actor died? What if an actor quit the project (which almost happened)? What if? Simply put, Linklater took a risk and it paid off beautifully. A feat such as this has never been done before.
Other than making cinematic history, how does the film itself stand up? What “Boyhood” does a great job of is containing very authentic dialogue. The script is on par with a John Hughes, director of “The Breakfast Club” film. My favorite scenes are between Mason, Coltrane, and his father, Hawke. They talk about life, relationships, and even little things like what it means to actually have a conversation with somebody, not just talk to them.
Acting is another area the film does well in. Hands down Hawke was my favorite because he portrayed such a likeable guy who you know is nowhere near perfect but is simply trying his best. Patricia Arquette, the mother, also did an outstanding job as someone who keeps being dealt a terrible hand but continues to try. I really enjoyed how realistic her journey to being happy was. In the film, the mother starts doing well and then is knocked down by life (or an abusive husband) and she tries to move on but she falls back down. When life puts an obstacle in the way it takes a few tries to succeed and that is exactly what it took for her. Some movies have a character fall but then they persevere and triumph. Arquette’s portrayal of what actually happens is something people should see.
“Boyhood” was also successful in being very relatable. The relationships between siblings change in real life like in the movie. The brother and sister annoy each other in the beginning and fight a lot but as years go by they form almost a friendship. A mother’s affection for her children: wanting to keep them safe and feeling bittersweet about them going to college is real. The conversations the characters share between friends and lovers are ones that could easily have been some you’ve once had. Even little things like singing a song really loud, taking pride in accomplishments, being nervous about what others will think, a bad haircut are things the average audience member has probably done at some point in their life.
“Boyhood” is a great film to watch and knowing what it took to make it just adds to its greatness. I