In 2002 director Richard Linklater got the idea of doing a movie that tells the fictional story of a boy and his family as they grow and change over a dozen years.
He chose six year old Ellar Coltrane to play six year old Mason, but the boy had to agree to film for several weeks every year until he was eighteen.
Linklater chose his own daughter, Lorelei to play the Mason's older sister, Samantha. and he also got a 12 year commitment from two hollywood actors: Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette to play their divorced parents.
The resulting film is unique in film history. Chronicling the passage of time like this in a fiction film has ever been done before. And for me, it was fascinating to watch this little boy and his sister grow into young adults over the course of a two hours and 45 minute running time.
At the beginning the kids' mother played by Arquettte is already split from their father and she's moving to another city in Texas, so that she can get an education and a better job.
Meanwhile, Dad, played by Hawke, visits every other weekend. He's not yet a responsible adult in the early years, but it's clear he loves his kids and wants them to be able talk to him.
Mason: Dad, Why is it all on us? What about you? How was your week? Who did you hang out with? Do you have a girlfriend? What have you been up to?
Dad: I see your point.
It's not just the number of years it took to shoot that makes BOYHOOD such an amazing film. It's also that this film captures so many of the kind of moments in life that everyone experiences.
We come to really like Mason and sympathize with the entirely normal struggles he goes through. Growing up really is a lot like this movie shows it to be from being misunderstood by adults, to discovering what you really like, to falling in love for the first time.
So, if you see BOYHOOD, don't expect a conventional story with a beginning, middle, and end. Instead, be ready to witness a lot of very realistic slices of a boy's life as he grows up.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now. firstname.lastname@example.org