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Movie Review: 'Boyhood'

Richard Linklater shows the good, bad and the ugly of growing up in "Boyhood." The film took home top honors in January as best picture from the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle.
by Nathan Poppe Published: August 15, 2014

photo - 
This image released by IFC Films shows Ellar Coltrane at age 18 in a scene from “Boyhood.” AP Photo/IFC Films
This image released by IFC Films shows Ellar Coltrane at age 18 in a scene from “Boyhood.” AP Photo/IFC Films - AP

“Boyhood” is being billed as the movie roughly 12 years in the making.

Director Richard Linklater (“Dazed and Confused,” “School of Rock”) and a relatively small crew aged along with the movie’s production as it chronicled the life of a fictional youngster named Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from age 6 to 18.

That premise is equal parts ambitious and impressive.

As far as I know, there’s nothing quite like “Boyhood” in existence. At the very least, it sure makes for some great trailer hype, right?

Yet, it was hard for me to disconnect from the movie’s premise. “Boyhood” undoubtedly will continue to receive accolades for its unique structure, but I have to ask: Does spending more than a decade using the same actors really add to a story? I think not.

If I had walked into “Boyhood” without knowing the premise, then I wouldn’t have realized Mason was being played by Coltrane for all those years. Same actor or not, the success of “Boyhood” instead teeters on how emotionally invested you get into the plight of an adolescent dealing with harsh realities, love, divorce and very flawed adults.

At times, I felt “Boyhood” dipped into boring territory. And it almost had to. I forget just how often I was bored growing up, and the film captures Mason’s restlessness perfectly. “Boyhood” is also grossly uncomfortable. Watching Mason’s deranged, drunk stepfather erupt at the dinner table made me want to lock myself in a bathroom and call for help.

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by Nathan Poppe
Entertainment Writer and LOOKatOKC Editor
Entertainment Writer and LOOKatOKC Editor Nathan Poppe, is a documenter of all things entertaining. The Middle of Nowhere is his blog and a depository of everything that makes the Midwest unique. The coasts have a massive amount of influence on...
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R 2:40 4 stars

Starring: Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater. (Language, including sexual references, and for teen drug and alcohol use)


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