REVIEW: Richard Linklater’s Boyhood Is a Thrilling Epic of Ordinary Life

TIME

Richard Linklater has said that “not much” happens in Boyhood, his new movie about a dozen years in the life of a Texas family. The biggest shock, though not unexpected, is when the leading man’s voice changes. Leading boy, really. We’ve been watching Mason (Ellar Coltrane) since he was an adorable six, and the onslaught of puberty strikes us as forcefully as it does him. Our little boy is becoming a young man.

Linklater’s gimmick — actually, his genius — was to visit the same core cast of fictional characters, played by the same actors, for a few days each year. Rounding up Lorelei Linklater (his own daughter) as Mason’s elder sister Samantha, Patricia Arquette as their mom Olivia and Ethan Hawke their dad, Mason Sr., the writer-director began in the summer of 2002, when its star actor was turning six, and concluded last autumn, when Mason is…

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