I met up with the lads for a night out in Bradford, primarily to see Boyhood, but also to share same time, a curry and a beer. It's something we rarely manage to do as I'm normally tied up with work all week and they are committed to cricket (and the ensuing social side of the sport) at weekends.
I'm a great Richard Linklater fan. His three "Before" films are each individually brilliant and there are very few movies that I've enjoyed more. He has a template of naturalism where the acting seems improvised and spontaneous, producing brilliant dialogue which leads his productions almost entirely. He proves that there is no need for a clever or intricate plot to make a great film. "Boyhood" takes this model further. Where "Before Sunrise", "Before Sunset" and "Before Midnight" were shot 9 years apart with the same two stars (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy), "Boyhood" was created by making a short film every year for 12 years with the same cast (again including Hawke - as the father), charting the life of Mason as he grows from a six year old boy to the verge of manhood at the point when he starts college at the age of eighteen. We watch Mason grow up before our eyes in the span of just under three hours.
Like the "Before" films before this one, there is no real plot. We are simply invited into the world of Mason's family and allowed to observe. The time-lapse parts are woven together into a seamless whole which is accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack. It's simply an extraordinary cinematographic experience. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It's a celebration of the extraordinary which is to be found in every seemingly ordinary life. This film could have been made about any of our childhoods (each and every of one of us) and it would have been just as compelling. Every human life is totally and wonderfully and preciously dramatic. It was good to be reminded of that. Go see it!