The brilliance in the story is that it was filmed over 12 years with the same cast. It's a groundbreaking coming of age story where we literally see these characters grow up before our eyes.
While some have accused the 12 year aspect as being a gimmick, it doesn't feel that way at all. It's just a device that helps tell the story in a unique way. It's something we've never seen before. This concept makes us feel like we are dropped in a time capsule and helps us experience the nostalgia of the past from different points in filming.
Subtle moments, from a young Samantha singing the Britney Spears classic "Oops I did it again" to Mason wearing as Spider-Man T-shirt, bring us back to the early 2000s, and make us realize and appreciate how much of a daunting task this film making process really was.
Being one of the most critically acclaimed films in a long, long time and the current frontrunner in the Best Picture race, Boyhood comes with massive expectations.
There's not many "big" moments. It focuses more on the mundane aspects of everyday life, but Linklater captures this slice of life perfectly. Our whole lives, we are conditioned to think that certain milestones in life are such a big deal, and when they happen, we think "that's it?" "Now what?"
Linklater doesn't exaggerate or dramatize these moments. He just paints them like they are.
If we wait for these "big" moments to define our lives, we might as well keep waiting. Life is about a collection of these little moments. If we don't take the time to appreciate them, life will pass us by and we'll end up missing out on what's really important.
Boyhood is a brilliant representation of life, parenting, and growing up that's emotionally resonant with a revolutionary technique. It's easy to nitpick something that's popular, so when a movie is this acclaimed, people might naturally be let down, but I really connected with it.
Boyhood deserves all the praise it has received. It's the best film of the year.