Have you ever had a movie fall into your life at exactly the right moment?
Boyhood did that for me. Four days after seeing it in the theater, and it’s still resonating profoundly.
It wasn’t a heavy plot twist or harrowing drama that stuck in my brain — there was none of that. It was just life — real life — passing by, filled with small moments that make up a childhood eventually creating a teenager.
Richard Linklater shot the film over 12 years so we literally watched Mason (the main character) grow up before our eyes. In a fleeting series of frames, the sweet face that started the film–six year old Mason– leaves us, never to return. Through several haircuts, hair growths and piercings, he developed into his own person with his own path leaving the baby fat innocence behind. (He also goes off to college leaving his mother behind which sets off a whole other tear-jerking reaction.)
When I got home from the theater, I scoured the internet for interviews with the actor Ellar Coltrane…what was it like to do this movie?!?! It would’ve been amazing to hear from six year old Coltrane….but he is long gone.
The movie is a meditation on the moment. Watching 12 years pass by in a blink (it was three hours) only emphasized how quickly it all goes. While milestones are exciting and can define an era, it’s the moments in between that shape who we are.
After watching Boyhood, I see my kids as an invitation to join the moment– encouraging me to be fully present to who they are now.