Linklater’s Boyhood Generates Oscar Buzz

With the 2015 Oscars more than three months away, critics are already calling Richard Linklater’s Boyhood a front-runner for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor/Actress and, well, most others.

The three-hour epic, written and directed by Linklater, is a coming-of-age story that follows young Mason (Ellar Coltrane) through twelve years of his childhood.

The catch? The movie was shot over the course of twelve years.

Yes, we see stars such as Patricia Arquette (Mason’s mother) and Ethan Hawke (Mason’s father) through over a decade of life’s ups and downs. The result is a film that combines banality with drama—and it’s fascinating. On Rotten Tomatoes, critics give Boyhood an astounding 99%.

What makes the film potentially Oscar-worthy, however, is not merely the timespan it elapses, but rather the poignant, everyday events Linklater portrays with accuracy and grace. Mason’s life—like most of our own—is a patchwork of family dinners, confusing friends, failed relationships, and flawed yet likable characters, making the film extremely relatable.

Equally interesting are the movie’s constant nods to pop culture. Boyhood is laced with everything from Tamagotchis (remember those?) to Obama/Biden election signs, to Coldplay’s 2000 smash, “Yellow.” It is nostalgia at its best.

Are there other contenders for the 2015 Best Picture Oscar? Of course. González Iñárritu’s Birdman has perhaps received equal critical attention, and there are certainly still more films to be released and reviewed.

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