There have been some great movies that capture the idea of childhood in a particular moment in a boy’s life. For example, Stand By Me. But Richard Linklater didn’t want to limit himself to one moment, or one age, or even one decade, as it turns out. For Boyhood, he cast a child (Ellar Coltrane) as his protagonist, Mason, and then built a story around him that he continued for 12 years, until the boy went off to college. It’s not a documentary, like the 7-Up series, but a complete, well-crafted character study. Not only do Coltrane and Linklater’s daughter, Lorelei, who plays Mason’s sister, grow up literally before your eyes, but the parents — Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette — also age and grow and learn.
The cut of the film that screened at Sundance was bursting with nostalgic popular music — songs that may or may not be licensed as part of the finished film — but the trailer makes great use of “Hero” by Family of the Year. It’s the perfect tune to tell this story. Watch the trailer below:
Yes, you will cry when you see this in the theater when it opens July 11. Yes, Linklater might be the coolest guy making movies today. And yes, Arquette, should get some Best Supporting Actress consideration for her stunning performance.