It’s an intriguing objective to shot a feature film over a twelve-year period using the same actors. But you can’t help wondering if the cast and crew got their salaries in instalments or did the poor things have to wait 12 years until the film was finally completed?
Richard Linklater’s time-lapse study Boyhood (2014) has a very simple synopsis, to watch a boy and his family and friends age 12 years. We follow Mason from the beginnings of his school life at six right up until he arrivals at college some twelve years later. When we first meet Mason and his older sister Samantha their mother and father have just gone through a divorce and mum is expected to bring up the two children as a single parent, Dad turns up every couple of weeks acting like the cavalry and takes them out in his fancy Pontiac. Although a hard working and devoted mother Olivia subjects her two kids to various drunk and abusive ‘live in’ male partners. Therefore having to change location/school/work after realising yet another failed relationship with the current “Mr Wrong”. Nothing really exciting happens and this is how the movies exceptionally long running time of just under three hours transpires, which to be honest gets a little monotonous.
Michael Winterbottom made a much more interesting job of a time lapse study when he made Everyday (2012) over a five year period but this dealt with a family that was coping with father being locked up in prison and how it effected them over this period. And we all watched Daniel Radcliffe and co get older in the Harry Potter franchise. But my main problem with the film was my dislike of the main character who appeared to be such a twat and I spent a great deal of the movie wishing that this grubby looking individual would take a shower and wash his greasy hair!
The film stars Ellar Coltrane as the boy, Linklater’s daughter Lorelei as Mason’s sister Samantha with Patricia Arquette as their mother and Ethan Hawke as Mason Snr. There is within the film an amusing hypocritical reflection on modern day America when Mason receives, for his 15th birthday, a Bible from his grandma and a shotgun from his grandfather!