The beauty of Richard Linklater’s success lies entirely within the realism he portrays in his films, most notable in the recently concluded love focused Before trilogy. Those films are charming, funny, entertaining and most important of all they are relatable. You can feel the humanity pouring throughout every shot, in every piece of dialogue written, every emotion portrayed and that’s why they work. Linklater excels this realism here also, pushing it to an even more visual representation of reality in how we see characters age, disappear, return.
It’s a shame there’s been such a widespread attention on the gimmick Linklater utilised of filming his actors at several stages over the course of the last decade, because as impressive as it as and the work gone into it is admirable, there’s such a reality and humanity on display in the performances and dialogue that it could’ve worked just as magnificently if it was produced in a more orthodox manner.
I can’t fault any of Linklater’s ideas, though, as Boyhood is a work of a true wonder. It is a film of identity, beauty, dependence and maturity and the duration of close to three hours is necessary and although it might seem extensive from an initial look, but everything Linklater includes here contains a life lesson for us all. I won’t jump the gun and proclaim as one of the greatest films of all-time just yet, but I’m happy to say I’ve rarely witnessed a film so competent in its understanding of the world. Possibly the only film to feature Soulja Boy and Arcade Fire.