Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is not autobiographical like The Fabelmans, but follows the same trajectory of growing up. What makes it stand out is that the film actually follows the boy for over a decade as he comes of age, capturing every single pimple, growth spurt and bad haircut in a way no hair and makeup team has ever been able to do.
Its main character, Mason Evans Jr., feels abandoned after his parents’ divorce. He wonders which of his imperfect parents he resembles. He and his sister need to move. He dates and breaks up with girls, deals with bullies in an attempt to create an identity for himself, and develops a passion for photography. If they were contemporaries (Boyhood is set in the 2000s), Sammy Feibelman and Mason Evans Jr. would no doubt be friends.
The main difference is that in this drama, the same child (Ellar Coltrane) literally comes of age as Mason, playing a boy between the ages of 6 and 18. “Boyhood” was filmed for 12 years, which allowed the cast to mature. naturally, along with the characters they played, to stunning effect. Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke portray his mother and father.
The film’s inventive verisimilitude deserved brilliant reviews and box office as well as many awards, despite the fact that it lasts almost three hours and does not have much plot (it also has something in common with “The Fabelmans”). The R-rated “Boyhood” also touches on topics such as s*x and contraception, abuse, alcoholism and drug use, financial hardship, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is for a more specific audience and leads to some heartfelt conclusions about Mason’s childhood and his growing career as a photographer.
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