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Richard Linklater’s epic Boyhood, filmed over 12 years using the same actors, follows Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as he goes from childhood to the precipice of adulthood.

Compelling at its premise, the film is insightful and unique but ultimately drags from lack of narrative drive. In a way, its understated nature is rather like life – perpetually moving with one sequence after another. While audiences may relate to these experiences nothing new about the journey through adolescence is provided.

Still, to watch Mason (and the other actors) literally grow-up onscreen is fascinating. Coltrane is all that he should be, a charming and sometimes mysterious little boy who grows into an individually minded young man.

The tension in Boyhood lies between the growth of childhood and the ‘being’ of adulthood. When the adults in Mason’s life seem no closer to a sense of conclusive ‘being’ how can he negotiate the transition to adulthood? (ATS)

** /5