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Boyhood: the little engine that could

October 22, 2014 Written by | No Comments

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With a decade-spanning narrative and a featuring a new spin on the coming of age genre, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood has been the breakout indie of 2014. Distributed by IFC films, Boyhood has been both a financial and critical success. Shot during a 12 year period with the same actors, it seems that the film’s groundbreaking concept has captured the imagination of audiences throughout the world.

Boyhood tells the story of Mason, a six-year-old boy who by the film’s conclusion is an 18-year-old young man on his way to college. The film features no gimmicks or plot twists, just simply the passage of time. It shows us how even the littlest and most insignificant moments in our childhood and our adolescence have a profound impact on who we become as young adults. Simply put, it’s like no other film you will ever see.

Critics have been raving and have rewarded Boyhood with an unheard of 99 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Linklater and his film are now being tipped as frontrunners for the Academy Awards next year. For such a tiny indie film like Boyhood, this is huge deal. Linklater is also being singled out as a potential Best Director frontrunner. He is seemed as overdue after years of great work (Dazed and Confused, the Before Midnight trilogy). The fact that he took 12 years to finish this passion project will only add to the chorus of people saying he deserves to win.

But how will Boyhood, with its miniscule $4 million budget compete with the bigger movies for the gold come awards season? Remember, the film is being distributed by IFC films which isn’t exactly known for putting down money for awards campaigns due to budget concerns. For this reason, independent studios and their films find it hard to compete for Oscars with the bigger studios.

Jonathan Rosen, an employee at the IFC center in New York City says that the film’s heart will be enough to persuade voters. “This is the first film where I have seen grown men crying when they were coming out of the theatre,” Rosen says. “The film’s concept is so simple and it’s themes so universal, that anyone can relate to it.”

He’s right. Whether you relate to the film through your own childhood or through having raised a child of your own, Boyhood will have you reaching for a tissue box by the time the credits start rolling

Categories: Awards · Films