Boyhood

Filming periodically over 11 years, writer-director Richard Linklater follows a Texas boy from first grade to high school graduation, noting along the way how his mother’s unhappy relationships with men color the boy’s own interaction with the opposite sex. The movie is being hailed for its novel production, though in fact British director Michael Winterbottom beat Linklater to the punch with his superb, little-noticed Everyday (2012), chronicling a working-class family over five years. That movie progresses more naturally than this one, which can’t afford to introduce a single character unless there’s a significant payoff later. But Linklater’s writing is typically warm and insightful, and the cast is uniformly excellent, including Ellar Coltrane as the quiet, down-to-earth hero. With Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke.