Saturday, January 17, 2015

Ellar Coltrane stars in the coming of age tale 'Boyhood'

In the year 2002 actor Ellar Coltrane is a 7 year old boy with an opportunity to be a part of what some critics are calling, cinematic history. Coltrane portrays Mason, a boy who grows up on screen for the next 12 years of his life in Academy Award nominated director Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. The film showcases the ensemble cast for over a decade focusing on the effects of living in a broken home and what it can do to a young boy and his family. 

Boyhood is unlike any film out there right now because of the time and dedication from the cast and crew that it took to produce this original flick. Although the film is boasted as original and never done before, some may argue that it is filled with nothing. A boy becomes a man before the audience and while that may sound intriguing, there isn’t much drama being filled into those 12 years. The film begins with Mason and his sister living with their mom and seeing their dad only once in a while. Throughout the years their mom makes some terrible life choices and their dad is always filled with disappointments and unfortunately the only people that suffer the most are Mason and his sister.

The best part of Boyhood was seeing the life events occur over time, since the film begins after September 11, 2001 there are some scenes about that tragedy and then President Bush, and then in 2008 there are scenes about the presidential elections as well. There are also scenes with an older television set being used and that really gives the audience a look back into the past and to remember those 12 years with slightly different technology and what was occurring during that time, and of course the rapid changes that occur physically with the cast as well, with height changes with both children, and hair changes.

The acting in Boyhood is outstanding. Oscar nominated actress Patricia Arquette stars as Mason’s mother Olivia who rushes into one bad relationship to the next. She was at times frustrating to watch since she was constantly selfish and not concerned with what her actions or reactions had on her children. Oscar nominated actor Ethan Hawke portrayed Mason’s father, Mason Sr. as somewhat of a deadbeat dad, he is obsessed with conspiracies and enjoys settling in life rather than getting a real job and taking responsibility for his children or for anything for that matter. Coltrane really steals the show, mostly because a big portion of him growing up is being witnessed by audiences all around the world in movie theaters. Sure each year of his life was quite short being that the entire film ran nearly three hours long, but it was captivating to see him physically grow and mature as a person. He was reserved and he displayed a quiet uncommunicative demeanor beautifully. The audience is fascinated by his mysterious and peaceful nature. He was able to portray the same character for 12 years remarkably staying true to Mason’s personality and mannerisms.

Boyhood was thought provoking to see the impact on a child’s life of every decision their parents make. The Oscar nominated film is recommended for anyone who wants to get a glimpse into a difficult yet somewhat normal childhood in America might look like in a broken home.

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