Richard Linklater is a director whose name has become synonymous with innovative filmmaking, not in the way that James Cameron or Peter Jackson are with the newest forms of technology, but in a more simplistic way. He is a storyteller in the truest form. His films do not tend to be action packed, they are about people and relationships. M favorite films of his are the Before Sunrise trilogy which also includes Before Sunset and Before Midnight. Also starring Ethan Hawke, these films tell the story of a young American man and a young French woman who meet on a train traveling to Vienna. Each film takes place over the course of a day or two and follows the two in 1995, 2004, and 2013. Each was filmed 9 years after the last and is a more beautiful story than the last.
Boyhood was filmed over the course of 11 years. The same core cast is seem throughout the film with other characters coming in and out periodically. The film centers around a boy named Mason between the ages of 6 and 18. Not a lot happens throughout the film. There is no major plot. It is the story of this boy’s life in the truest form. It is the story of his family as seen through his eyes. The true feat of this film is watching the children grow up. The use of the same actors for 12 years watching how they change and grow in a way we have never seen before in film.
While I was truly impressed by Ellar Coltrane, the young boy (now young man) who played Mason, I think the is the best performance I have ever seen out of Patricia Arquette. She is just lovely as the mother. Watching her handle the raising of her children, her struggles with her romantic life, and subsequently life after her children leave home is really powerful in a way I was not expecting.
This film was not only really cool to watch because of the historical filming process, but also because no one can tell you a story like Richard Linklater. He is a true master of basic character development with truth and depth we rarely have the opportunity to see.