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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Boyhood

Boyhood

Thinking about our youth helps us get in touch with the triumphs, defeats and mysteries that have shaped us. Films can be powerful reminders of the turning points in our coming-of-age. That’s certainly true of this drama directed by Richard Linklater, who also gave us the extraordinary trilogy Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight about the joys and complications of relationships.

Boyhood, a nearly three-hour film, follows an East Texas boy from elementary school through his arrival at college. Filmed in sequence across 12 years with the same actors, it captures and conveys the everyday lives of children as they grow, change and struggle with events they can’t foresee or control. As he interacts with his single mother, sister, dad, two stepdads, friends and teachers, Mason (Ellar Coltrane, above) learns to loosen up, look around and master the art of improvisation in a world where, as his father puts it, “everybody is just ‘winging it.’ ”

The emotional high point of the movie is the party for Mason’s high school graduation. He realizes that he will always have those who cherish him to turn to when he needs help (IFC Films, R—language, sexual references, teen drug and alcohol use).


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