Last Wednesday I happened to saw probably one of the most innovative, talked about landmark films of the 21st century. It didn’t involve superheroes, CGI special effects, trekkies, or Angelina Jolie. I am talking about a little movie that could named “Boyhood”.
Boyhood is a coming of age epic that follows the life of Mason Evans Jr. over a 12-year period from the age of six while in grade school, all the way to when he goes to college when he is 18. Relative newcomer Ellar Coltrane, who gives a very convincing and commanding performance as the adolescent, played the role of Mason Evans Jr. The rest of the cast is spectacular, ranging from Richard Linklatter regular Ethan Hawke as Mason Evans Sr., Patricia Arquette as Mason’s mother Olivia, and Richard’s daughter Lorelei Linklatter as Mason’s older sister Samantha.
This is a very insightful and very deep epic that looks at the issues of the effects of divorce, growing pains, love, loss, discovery, and maturing from a boy into a man. Upon experiencing this movie, seeing Mason Jr. transform from a little boy to a big man over the years is like being part of a big family that shares the ups and downs of everyday life. Not only that, there were times I felt like I could’ve been the “Big Brother” that defended him at his weakest state and understood him when nobody else could.
The movie is very funny, some of the content is raw and at times rough (the scenes involving Olivia’s marriage to his alcoholic professor Bruce, played by Marco Perella; frank discussions on sexual escapades when Mason camps out with his friends), but overall this is a very well thought out and well put together movie that chronicles adolescence to a new degree. Maybe this film could be a very early contender for Oscar season in 2015.