Matthew Lickona 4 p.m., Dec. 2
Would it really have made that much difference had Boyhood been filmed over a period of three months with a range of actors playing the leads at various stages of their lives as opposed to a 12-year shoot that affords its cast the relatively unheard of luxury of literally aging before our eyes? Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and Samantha (Lorelei Linklater) are the product of good people (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke) who couldn’t make their love work. Much of the film’s appeal stems from it’s structured commitment to chronicling growth without relying on improvisation as a crutch. Richard Linklater’s casual hand at storytelling, dealing out reel after reel of naggingly forthright enlightenment, turns this simple tale of a mother trying to do best for her kids into something worth every second of the time it took to produce. With Marco Perella, chilling as Dad #2, a Jekyll & Hyde type who tends bar in the laundry room. 2014.