Richard Linklater’s Boyhood was a film 12 years in the making. Literally, it took 12 years to make, with the Dazed and Confused and Before trilogy director returning to his subjects over a decade-plus period, filming actor Ellar Coltrane from the age of seven through 18.
It’s a film about growing up, because it’s a film about growing up.
“I’ve long wanted to tell the story of a parent–child relationship that follows a boy from the first through the 12th grade and ends with him going off to college,” Linklater said. “But the dilemma is that kids change so much that it is impossible to cover that much ground. And I am totally ready to adapt the story to whatever he is going through.”
Coltrane, who stars in the film with Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, grew up on camera, in the film and without public school.
“Things come back a little bit, but that’s kind of part of what is strange about it, is just how little of that stuff from the beginning I do remember,” Coltrane told the Canadian Press. “I recognize myself in that seven-year-old, but I don’t remember being seven.”
Ethan Hawke – who starred in Before Sunrise and Before Sunset and Before Midnight, all Linklater films – isn’t the only familiar cast member for the director.
Lorelei Linklater plays Coltrane’s sister in the movie, as well.
“Me and Lorelei were always asked for input and, kind of, allowed to be a part of the process,” Coltrane said. “It just kind of deepened as the years went on. You know, it’s not so much that he treated us in any different way. It’s just that, as we got older and had more input to give, the characters also required more input. It just sort of happened naturally.”
The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and will be released in theatres later in 2014.
The full trailer is here: