Today's entry on the list is an indie endeavor that I am sure will find it's way onto many 'best of year' lists purely for the accomplishment of making it. Boyhood was filmed in parts over the course of an entire decade and charts the life of a child from pre-teen years through being a teenager before ending with him embarking on his college life.
What's remarkable is that the same actor was used throughout. He literally grew up with this movie. Veteran indie director Richard Linklater, has once created a fascinating character study. They shot the movie in stages every year for ten years.
The cast is wonderful. I suppose they lucked out in that the central character, played by Ellar Coltrane as he grew up, was able to hold his own in the latter scenes, but overall it felt natural. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette provide great support as his parents. Hawke in particular always seems to be at his most believable and engaging when working with Linklater.
It won't be for everyone's tastes. There is little 'artificial' drama, outside of family and character dynamics of modern life. It is not a movie with a traditional narrative arc, outside of the fact that you get to watch this child grow up before you on the screen.
I also found it interesting as a uniquely American insight into childhood. As a cultural time-capsule of sorts it provides an interesting window into growing up in America, and how those values that Americans hold close to their identity, actually play out on an individual basis. Maybe this is just me watching the film as a foreigner who now lives in the US, but that aspect of the movie was an important part of it's appeal for me.
Whatever the appeal you probably won't watch a more interesting movie this year.