A pretty great achievement from a bold idea of filming a fictional film over time to keep the natural aging of the characters authentic. And “authentic” is the word du jour for this film. All Linklater’s efforts are put into making this as realistic and genuine of a look inside the life of a boy growing through his teen years as possible. And he is very successful, so much so that when Mason got to his annoying, amateur-philosopher teenager stage, it was so on point I was embarrassed for knowing I was once probably like that.
This film sets out to do what it does brilliantly. I suppose the only reason I personally wouldn’t consider it a masterpiece is because what it does isn’t overly compelling to me. Its meandering and goes on a little long, and it kept feeling like something was going to happen in a lot of scenes and then it just doesn’t. This is fine, because like I said its goal of being a “slice of life” works very well and I think it will connect with a lot of people.