What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Boyhood is an extraordinary drama that was filmed over the course of 12 years, following the main character, Mason (Ellar Coltrane), as he grows from age 5 to age 18. Rather than sticking to a standard coming-of-age plot, the movie is more about the rhythms of life itself: trying to get by, making mistakes and moving on. There's strong language that comes in bursts, including "f--k" and "s--t." One sequence involves an abusive, alcoholic second husband. No onscreen violence is shown, but it's definitely suggested, and there's a sense of threat. Sex talk comes up from time to time, and the main character is seen briefly kissing his girlfriend. Teen characters also experiment with drugs and alcohol. Despite the mature content, this is a special movie that, if teens and parents watch together, could spark many fascinating discussions about life.
- Families can talk about the sequence with the alcoholic, abusive stepfather. How much tension is generated, and how much violence is actually shown? What's the overall effect? Did the movie need to show more or less?
- Teens occasionally experiment with drugs and alcohol in Boyhood. How does the movie view these sequences? Is it right or wrong for teens to experiment? What are the consequences, if any, of these actions?
- How early do these characters become interested in romantic relationships? What do they learn?
- What are some of the lessons learned in this movie? What disappointments or failures did characters have to overcome? How did they overcome them?
- Did you have any difficulty watching a movie of this length and with this format? How is it different from more mainstream movies?