August 15, 2014 8:43 AM

‘Boyhood’ triumphs when it stops being a theory

Nothing in Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” was more dramatic to me than the voice of actor Ellar Coltrane, now at least half an octave lower than it was in the earlier scenes. Pubescence had hit him — and our eardrums out in the audience — like a ton of bricks. At that moment, “Boyhood” stopped being an extremely canny illustration of an aesthetic theory and became a movie whose conveyance of the reality of growing up became visceral and deeply affecting.

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