WINNER: Silver Bear Award, Berlin International Film Festival 2014
Official Selection, Sundance International Film Festival 2014
“An entrancing, one-of-a-kind act of dramatic storytelling... touches something deep and true” - Owen Gleiberman, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
“What an astonishing achievement; what a beautiful movie” - Xan Brooks, THE GUARDIAN
It’s now over a decade ago that the visionary Richard Linklater announced a project so audacious that many a naysayer claimed it couldn’t happen. The director of SLACKER and the recent BEFORE MIDNIGHT planned to assemble a cast of actors who he would film over the course of a dozen years, to tell an utterly authentic tale of American childhood and adolescence. The unanticipated BOYHOOD finally saw the light of day early this year and made a huge splash with its world premiere at Sundance, before nabbing a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Linklater’s unique saga, unprecedented in cinema, makes a stop at Fantasia this summer. Many critics are already calling it one of the best films of the year, and so will you.
Mason (Ellar Coltrane) is five years old, and like most kids his age, he’s not big on school and prefers to play with his friends. His parents having separated, he and his sister Samantha are with their mother (Patricia Arquette) and only see their eternally adolescent dad (Ethan Hawke) every second weekend. The years pass with their share of ups and downs. Alone against each day’s adversities, Mason contends with the lumps and lessons of growing up. His personality takes shape in reaction to family drama and fleeting friendships, brief loves and broken dreams. The foundations of the man he will be are being laid.
The story of a life — never has the term been so appropriate as to describe the amazing BOYHOOD, a high point in Linklater’s filmography. In following, step by step, the paths that each character follows, he creates a quasi-documentary of his actors’ aging bodies. Observing the features of little Mason change before our eyes, we’re confronted with the reality of time’s passage. There’s a nostalgic identification with the physical and psychological changes, and likewise a poignant depth to the development of the small family. Beyond the unique premise of the production lies a universal drama of rare potency, reflecting on the links that unite us through good times and bad. Words can barely describe the performance by Ellar Coltrane, an intensely intimate undertaking. Mason’s story is one that so many will recognize as their own. There really isn’t another film like BOYHOOD.
— Simon Laperrière