If The Grand Budapest Hotel created a magical like wonderland for the viewer, Boyhood, written and directed by Richard Linklater, makes magic out of the everyday, much like Turner taught us to see fog or Hockney the light on the surface of a swimming pool. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called it “an unassuming masterpiece.”
Boyhood is another coming of age film, but it is unique in using the same actors over twelve years of intermittent filming (Ellar Coltrane as Mason, Patricia Arquette as his mother, Ethan Hawke as his father, Lorelei Linklater as his sister) so that we see their real aging and changing, which gives the viewer a sense of ... inclusion, peace, authenticity. We are caught up in the change, compelled by time slipping by so fast, this knowledge so poignant in our own lives. This use of real time creates a kind of transcendence that has, for me, an ineffable quality.
Patricia Arquette (on 2-9-15 on The Daily Show) said of director Linklater that he “believed what is beautiful is life. Normal life. Love. Mistakes. That we are here on Earth, a real celebration of just human beings.”
Linklater himself recounted how, in his own childhood with divorced parents, a father who lived over an hour away, he spent, with his dad, that three hour round trip trying to forge a connection. Hawke tries to do the same with the Coltrane and Linklater characters, striving to know one another as best as they can. I think it is a marvel to behold. Nominated for six Oscars, it has already won the Golden Globe and the British Academy Film Award for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor (Arquette).