“Boyhood” is one of the most groundbreaking motion pictures ever made. Love it or hate it, it is filmmaker Richard Linklater’s (“Sunrise” series) epic drama of non-epic proportions filmed over the course of 12 very average years. Miraculously maintaining the same cast over the entire project, Linklater chooses to capture life’s small moments that mean little outside a small circle of people, their context of time and the audience.
As the antithesis of a Marvel blockbuster, this film features no special effects, no rock mantra and no mass destruction. In some ways, it’s like your grandfather splicing together snippets of your childhood videos into a single reel. What could be more exciting than watching the very non-exceptional 7-year-old Mason Evans (Ethan Coltrane) playing with a neighborhood friend then joining his sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater, Richard’s daughter) being read stories by their single mom (Patricia Arquette)?
In the next annual episode (about 14 minutes each year), Mom explains why homework should be turned in on time while Mason and Samantha spend quality time with dear old dad (Ethan Hawke). We’re reminded how the arbitrary moments in life are just as important to our wonder years as momentous occasions. The events over time affect subtle changes in the lives of the parents, as well as the children.
“Boyhood” is 106 minutes and rated R for language and sexual material. The Academy is enamored with the novelty of this grand experiment. Although a fictional story, the audience cares about these characters very deeply. We appreciate the effort but were not as affected as some. Maybe this film better deserves the Lifetime Achievement Award.