The 2014 movie calendar year is still young, but no American film so far has earned more praise than Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. The raved-about drama has picked up numerous fans over the festival circuit in the last few months, cementing itself as one of the strongest titles of the year. The film premiered the Sundance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival (where Linklater was awarded the Best Director prize) and most recently, the SXSW Festival. Today comes word from Deadline, that the film is expected to release theatrically this summer from IFC Films.
Boyhood, on conceit alone, marks perhaps the most ambitious project yet for the director of Waking Life, Bernie and the acclaimed Before-trilogy, the last of which, Before Midnight, was recently nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award. Shot over the course of twelve years, Boyhood chronicles the lives and journeys of an American family, centering on Mason (played by newcomer Ellar Coltrane) who ages in the film from tot to college-ready grown-up. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette play his parents and Linklater’s own daughter Lorelai plays the lead’s sister in the film.
When the film premiered at Sundance, there was a degree of mystery and confusion as to whether IFC Films would distribute the film themselves. The distributor shepherded production of the project but there was speculation as to whether they would seek a larger outfit to launch the indie drama. “We went to Sundance with the understanding we would talk to other distributors,” Boyhood producer John Gloss commented,
“You have to understand when they committed to fund this, IFC didn’t have a distribution arm. So they didn’t have distribution rights, even though they are a co-owner along with Rick and the filmmaking team. This is a very special movie and we wanted to make sure it has every opportunity for success. We’ve realized this film plays for a young audience and it will need word of mouth that comes from staying in theaters for a long time. IFC really stepped up.”
Boyhood will open July 11, 2014, in limited release with expansion to be followed after.