It only took 12 years to get here, but it was worth the wait as it touched me personally.
Boyhood, written and directed by patrician indie filmmaker Richard Linklater (Before Midnight, Dazed and Confused), follows a family over a 12-year span, using the same actors, with no makeup or wigs. Indeed, both the story and the filming cover a dozen years.
Before your eyes, you’ll watch the cast age 12 years, all in the 2:46 runtime. The film covers the lives of a family of four, played by Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Lorelai Linklater and newcomer Ellar Coltrane in the title role, as they do what families do – see good times, see tough times, go to school, go on road trips – in essence, experience life.
What I found especially touching was a scene in which Ethan Hawke tells his son, “When you get older you can save up and buy a car of your own … be cool like I used to be.” It got me reflecting on my own boyhood, which included the rite of passage of turning 16 and a newfound freedom discovered when I bought my first car.
Like most people, getting my license and that first set of wheels – bought (under orders) from my father for $300 in 1991 – put me in an elevated category of adolescence and enhanced responsibility.
My first car was a 1980 Toyota Corolla Tercel (yes, in 1980, they were the same car). I could fill the tank for $10 and see the ground from the driver’s seat through a hole in the floor. I named it “El Torito Rojo” or “the little red bull.” It was an excellent beginner’s car for a young man traveling from boyhood to manhood.
I drove El Torito Rojo for two years and probably a little further than I should have. All the way from Denton, TX to…Fort Worth, TX. Before I had a chance to really age, the car did, and we parted ways in 1993, some 21,000 miles after I first turned its key.
I’m looking forward to seeing Boyhood, which will be released nationwide, in the U.S., on July 18.
Linklater calls the film “One story, made up of a lot of little pieces.” Not unlike my first car.
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