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SPOTLIGHT FILMS: Boyhood

“We filmed a period piece in the present tense.” Thus are the words of Austin based director Richard Linklater, the guy who jump started the careers of Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, and Matthew McConaughey with Dazed and Confused, about his film Boyhood, which he directed and wrote.

Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Boyhood is a ground-breaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane, Fast Food Nation ), who literally grows up onscreen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke (Training Day, Snow Falling on Cedars) and Patricia Arquette (Medium, Stigmata), as Mason's already divorced parents and Richard’s daughter, Lorelei Linklater (The Substitute, Waking Life) as his slightly older sister Samantha, Boyhood charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay's Yellow to Arcade Fire's Deep Blue. Boyhood is both a nostalgic time capsule and an ode to growing up and parenting.   

The contours of Linklater’s own bumpy childhood seem to be visible in this heartbreakingly personal and gently witty coming-of-age journey that sweeps the deck clean of a couple of previous Linklater endeavours, School of Rock, and the remake of Bad News Bears.

This film scored impressively well with critics and viewers on both Rotten Tomatoes and Internet Movie Database. It was also recipient of a number of awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress (Arquette) at the Seattle International Film Festival ; Best Film at the Sydney Film Fest; and Truly Moving Motion Picture at the Heartland Film Festival. These are but a few of the film’s accomplishments.

Boyhood is a presentation of Spotlight Films and will be shown at the Gem Theatre Tuesday Sept 30 at 7:30 pm.

Thanks to IMDb (Internet Movie Database), Rotten Tomatoes, and Ken Eisner of The Georgia Straight. Thanks also to Maureen and Marius Paquet of the Gem Theatre and to our patrons and sponsors.

There is a great article on the movie and Linklater in the July 24 edition of The Straight, including a phone interview with Linklater.