Experts and critics believe that Richard Linklater’s Boyhood will be quite prominent at this year’s Oscars. Already highly celebrated by the Berlin International Film Festival, the SXSW Film Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival, and many others, Boyhood is being named “the film of the year” by international media.
Linklater’s obsession with the passing of time is legendary. In his Before Trilogy — Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight — the characters are revisited every nine years. In Boyhood, time plays again a decisive role in the story’s development. Linklater began working on the project in 2002, when he chose a suitable protagonist, the then six year old Ellar Coltrane, and he began filming the child’s journey towards adulthood; this journey eventually served as the backbone of his film.
Boyhood Score “Summer Noon” by Jeff Tweedy:
The task lasted 12 years and it charmingly summarizes all the important events in the child’s crucial decade, showing them occurring through the eyes of little Mason Evans Jr. (the name of Coltrane’s character). We observe him growing in real time, in Texas; wars, different Presidents, technological advancement and everything that we ourselves experienced in the 00’s, are mixed with boyhood romance, naivety, enthusiasm and innocence, giving this decade a new dimension that we most likely didn’t get the chance to approach from this angle until now.
In the key roles surrounding Coltrane we come across two familiar names; that of Patricia Arquette and Linklater‘s time-and-time-again collaborator, Ethan Hawke. In smaller roles we get to enjoy Libby Villari, as well as the director’s daughter, Lorelei Linklater, in the role of Mason’s older sister, Samantha.
Read at Unsung Films: Before Midnight: The Soundtrack.
But the passing of time is not only reflected on the people of Boyhood; it also manifests itself on the soundtrack, which helps create the right atmosphere every time, as well as highlight the music trends from each year of this period. Starting from the protagonists of the movie, we will see Lorelei Linklater covering Britney Spears’ “Oops I did it again” while Ethan Hawke performs “Ryan’s Song” and “LA Freeway” (for those who don’t remember, Hawke’s singing debut was back in 1994 with the song “I’m Nuthin”, included in the movie Reality Bites, in which he also stars).
Boyhood is packed in hits covering all music genres. Among them we find massive names like Sheryl Crow, Blink 182, Aaliyah, Foster The People, Lady Gaga, Osibisa, Foo Fighters, Kings Of Leon, Savannah Welch, Pigeon John, Dale Watson, Phoenix, Soulja Boy, as well as a score by John Williams, titled “Whomping Willow and The Snowball Fight” originally composed for Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban.
Osibisa – Sunshine Day
It’s worth noting that an earlier cut of Boyhood included Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and OutKast’s “Hey Ya”, with the former sticking out like a sore thumb; but despite Linklater‘s and Meghan Currier’s (music supervisor) efforts, the creators never managed to get approval from the artists in order to use these tracks in the film. It’s definitely their loss, as they could have earned a spot in the final tracklist of Boyhood official soundtrack.
The official soundtrack, however, is a different story, as Currier chose from a long indie Pop-rock list, and landed on some great alternative and underground tunes, all of which create a unique compilation of 16 milestones in the past decade’s world music industry. From the first scene, where the child is lying on the grass and the opening credits start rolling, we become aware of the year, 2002, for Coldplay make their presence known through “Yellow”.
Later on, we‘re hit by Arcade Fire, The Hives, Vampire Weekend, Foo Fighters, Gnarls Barkley, Cobra Starship, Gotye feat Kimbra, The Black Keys, Wilco, the timeless Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney with The Wings, and indie heroes such as Cat Power and Yo La Tengo. The result justifies Currier as Boyhood‘s music coordinator, who after The Wolf of Wall Street has certainly earned a top spot in her field.
Boyhood OST – Full Soundtrack
Boyhood: The Soundtrack Tracklist
- Tweedy – Summer Noon (03:33)
- Coldplay – Yellow (04:28)
- The Hives – Hate To Say I Told You So (03:19)
- CatPower – CouldWe (02:21)
- The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize? (03:32)
- GnarlsBarkley – Crazy (02:58)
- Vampire Weekend – One (Blake’s Got A New Face) (03:13)
- Wilco – HateItHere (04:31)
- Cobra Starship (feat. Leighton – Good Girls Go Bad (feat. Leigh) (03:16)
- Bob Dylan – Beyond The Horizon (05:34)
- Paul McCartney & Wings – Band On The Run (05:11)
- The Black Keys – She’s Long Gone (03:06)
- Gotye (feat. Kimbra) – Somebody That I Used To Know ( (04:03)
- Yo La Tengo – I’ll Be Around (04:45)
- Family Of The Year – Hero (03:10)
- ArcadeFire – DeepBlue (04:27)