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Bettie's Box Office: Boyhood Review
Updated: Friday, July 18 2014, 12:09 PM CDT
A film made in Austin, by an Austin director and with an Austin star is in theaters this weekend. Richard Linklater's film, Boyhood, is the groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a boy who literally grows up on screen.
Actress Patricia Arquette says she came to Austin one week a year, for 12 years, to film with the same cast. The film and TV star realized the risks.
"We could have shot four or five years and had it fall apart," said Arquette.
In July, she returned to Austin to promote the film with the actor who plays her son, Mason.
"None of us were contractually obligated to really show up for 12 years. It was really an honor system," said Arquette.
The result of the 12-year commitment is a movie that almost feels more like a documentary than a scripted story. We follow Mason's journey through fathers and stepfathers, loves, losses, technologies, politics, temptations, and rebellion. But Mason isn't the only one changed by time. Patricia Arquette really carries the emotional weight of the film as Mason's mother. The actress told me the 12 year commitment to Richard Linklater's film taught her a life-changing, life lesson.
"There were a million reasons Rick could talk himself out of thinking he could ever do this project. And I think we do that to ourselves all the time," said Arquette.
Ellar Coltrane was cast to play Mason at the age of six.
"I understood it was going to be a big part of my life," said the Austin teenager.
Looking back he has no regrets, except the one that was inevitable.
"It's definitely bittersweet to know that we're not going to do it again," said Coltrane.
Credit needs to go to the director and cinematographers who make the span of years visually seamless - you'd think the entire movie was shot all at once.
Boyhood is a movie of small moments and a refreshing change of pace from the typical summer action film. This real-time coming-of-age film, that almost everyone can find ways to relate to, is worth a full price ticket.
Boyhood opens in Austin on Friday, July 18, at Violet Crown Cinema. It's rated R for language including sexual references, and for teen drug and alcohol use.