ByDaniel O'Connor, writer at


Directed by Richard Linklater (School of Rock) over a 12 year period, Boyhood is the most critically acclaimed film of 2014. With 6 Oscar Nominations, 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and 100/100 on Meteoritic, this film appears to please everybody. Starring Ellar Coltrane (Fast Food Nation), Patricia Arquette (Medium) and Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight), Boyhood shows the life of Mason from the age 5 to 18. Now, the big question...Does it live up to its hype?

The answer to that question is yes. Boyhood is a very unique and clever film. I don't think there has been any fictional movie that has filmed over such a long period of time - using the same actors. I think it is nice to see a realistic view on a young boy growing up - families don't get along all the time but they don't just fight with each other non-stop either. The film also breaks stereotypes of the word 'family'. Mason's is torn apart many times but himself, his mother and his sister always pick up the pieces and move on. It is also great to see that this isn't your average 'nuclear' family, there are step-dads, boyfriends etc. Overall, the concept of this film works and it is a breath of fresh air.

85% of the time, the acting is solid. However, there were some scenes performed by Coltrane that felt very wooden and unconvincing - this is probably to do with his lack of experience. However, this doesn't ruin the film as Hawke and Arquette both put on amazing and convincing performances - no wonder Hawke has landed an Oscar nomination.

Boyhood is obviously very good at character development - you're with the same characters for 12 years..I'd be worried if character development was poor! I feel like I know almost everything about Mason and his family. The film literally felt like looking into a window and seeing a families everyday life.

However, I did get slightly confused in parts of this film. It would have been very helpful if the audience were told how old Mason was at certain points of the film. This made by brain come away from the film at some points as I was trying to figure out how old he was.

So Boyhood is a very good film. It is quite light and relaxing to watch and doesn't involve a lot of thinking. Even though it is over 150 minutes long, I was just intrigued to see Mason grow up so the extremely long running time wasn't an issue for me. With great performances and a very unusual concept, I can understand why Boyhood has been raved about.



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