First Hit: An amazing film that boarders on being a documentary type film and yet it isn’t.
I was swept up into the story from the very beginning. Richard Linklater has written and directed some of the best films in the past decade.
The three Before and After series with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, are outstandingly written as is this film. The writing is precise, yet loose and modern. The way this story falls together is sublime.
Linklater follows a young boy Mason (Ellar Coltrane) from ages 6 through 18, shooting him with his acting family of Mom (Patricia Arquette), Dad (Ethan Hawke), and sister Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) over this period of time. This means everyone ages correctly, what they bring to the part has real life wisdom and experience while the storyline evolves in small jumps through these 12 years. How these actors interacted with each other was amazing, but more importantly, if felt so real because in many ways it was.
Coltrane was an amazing choice for Linklater and fulfilled his gamble amazingly well. The likelihood that that Coltrane would be so amazing when selected at age 6 was small. To have these results is sublime. Arquette was absolutely wonderful in all ways. Strong, vulnerable and really embodied the woman who does her best to fend for her family. Hawke is fantastic as the dad who learns how to become a dad over this time period. Lorelei Linklater was wonderful as Coltrane’s sister. She embodied a young girl that struggles and flourishes through puberty and added so much to the dynamic of this family. Richard Linklater has created yet another masterpiece.
Overall: This is a must see, as it is truly different and groundbreaking.