Intrigued by “Boyhood,” Richard Linklater’s new film, shot over a period of 12 years? My friend and colleague John Hartl wrote a glowing review in today’s Seattle Times, with which I heartily concur: this movie really is something very special. (Why did John review it and not me? Well, it press-screened at the Seattle International Film Festival earlier this spring while I happened to be out of town; John and I were dividing the SIFF films and agreed that whoever saw a film at SIFF would write its subsequent full review. I’ve since caught up with “Boyhood” and loved it.) In the film, we watch Ellar Coltrane — who plays Mason, the lead character — age from about 7 to 18; we see a grade-school-age Mason riding his bike, and a grown-up Mason driving a pickup off to college. There’s something magical about seeing a childhood captured like this, and a poetic confidence to the way Linklater tells the story: we don’t see most of the big events in Mason’s life, but those small, quiet moments that shape who we are. Just beautiful.
Right now, “Boyhood” is only playing at the Harvard Exit in Seattle and the Lincoln Square in Bellevue, but it will expand in the next couple of weeks: adding the AMC Alderwood Mall and Sundance Cinemas on August 1, and Regal Thornton Place and Grand Cinemas in Tacoma on the 8th. It’s possible additional theaters may be added; I’ll update this post if I hear of any.
Slate has a fascinating FAQ about the making of “Boyhood.” (Among its tidbits: Linklater shot the whole thing on 35mm film, reasoning that digital technology would change over 12 years and affect the movie’s continuity, whereas film would always look the same.) And a staffer there put together a charming trailer, “Potterhood,” noting that the “Harry Potter” movies also give us that “Boyhood” experience of watching kids grow up on screen. (Michael Apted’s “Up” documentaries, most recently “56 Up,” also give us that experience, via nonfiction.)