Similar to the way Michael Apted has been chronicling real people as they grow up in his decades-long Up project, Richard Linklater has been experimenting with a multi-year fictional film in Boyhood. Now, after 12 years of work, he’s bringing it to Sundance.
Boyhood stars Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Lori Linklater and, most especially, Ellar Coltrane, who grows up before our eyes. Working from a script written by Linklater, the director and his cast and crew reconvened every year since 2002 (when Ellar was seven) to spend a few weeks shooting the story of a family anchored around Mason (Ellar) and his sister Samantha (Lori Linklater).
It’s not Linklater’s first time chronicling characters at different times of their lives: just last year we welcomed Before Midnight, the final third of his 20-odd year trilogy about Hawke’s Jesse and Julie Delpy’s Celine as they confronted the realities and challenges of married life.
Even Linklater wasn’t exactly sure what he’d get from the Boyhood experiment, but he’s clearly ready for the world to see it, because the film will premiere at the film festival on Sunday January 19.