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Rated 3.11 stars
by 276 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Surviving Childhood
by Betty Jo Tucker

Boyhood has won

a lot of praise.

Its 12-year shoot

took many days.


A boy grows up

as most will do.  

Is that a plot?

Not in my view.


But actors play

their roles with ease.

No fault with them.

They strive to please.


They also age

before our eyes.

And so they should.

Its no surprise.


Sorry Im a

party pooper

for a film most

think is super.

Oh, how I wanted to love Boyhood! The dedication of writer/director Richard Linklater (School of Rock, Before Sunrise, etc.) and his cast and crew to this 12-year-in-the-making project is truly inspiring. But the movie, although interesting in certain parts, didnt work for me. I wanted a more consistent storyline. Watching family members played by the same actors throughout -- interact at various ages/stages seemed like a cinematic novelty rather than a movie to me.

Still, three performances deserve recognition. Six-year old Ellar Coltrane charmed me at the beginning of the film; Ethan Hawke (Assault on Precinct 13) -- as the boys father made me believe everything about the divorced dad he portrays; and Patricia Arquette (A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III) excelled as a mom whose judgment about men leaves a lot to be desired.   

Focusing on the problems of a boy from the age of six to eighteen, Boyhood deals with how he relates to his divorced parents, older sister, drunken stepfather, and the world around him. As this youngster grows older, his charm diminishes -- but hes still an appealing character. Conversations with his dad are the most revealing, especially when this frequently absent father tries to be a better parent. The real anchor in the boys life? His mother, who has many faults but loves him dearly. Arquette won a Best Supporting Oscar for her impressive work in this key role.

Boyhood also received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Hawke), Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing. 

(Released by IFC Films and rated R for language including sexual references, and for teen drug and alcohol use.)

For more information about Boyhood, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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