Guardians of the Galaxy and Mockingjay might be the year’s biggest movies, but 2014, in many important ways, has also been the year of Boyhood. Since it debuted in January at the Sundance Film Festival to rhapsodic reviews, Richard Linklater’s 12-years-in-the-making story of a boy (Ellar Coltrane) and his family has forged a deep bond with audiences and critics alike. From Sundance, it went to Berlin in February, where it won several awards, and then reveled in a euphoric homecoming at March’s SXSW Festival in Austin. It opened in July in the heart of blockbuster season, and is still humming along 22 weeks later, already earning more than six times its $4 million budget. Now, with awards season shifting into high gear, Boyhood might actually be the Oscar frontrunner after critics groups in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston named it the best film of the year.
Boyhood is about a boy named Mason from the ages of 6 to 18, but it would require just minor editing to reframe it as Motherhood. Patricia Arquette plays Olivia, the divorced mother-of-two who pulls herself up by her bootstraps to provide a life for Mason and his sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater). It is almost as much her movie as Mason’s, because her arc, from an overwhelmed single mom to a successful college professor—with a couple bad marriages thrown in between—is so raw and riveting. Olivia is courageous and vulnerable, and Arquette is so powerfully authentic, perhaps because of 12 years of her own life experiences that paralleled the production of the film: her own new baby, a teenage son leaving the nest, a new marriage and a divorce. “This movies means so much to me personally,” she says, “and the people in it mean so much to me personally because it’s a movie about kids growing up and families and human beings, and it’s kind of a love story to the working class.”
Arquette has been the one to beat in the Best Supporting Actress Oscar race since January’s premiere, and recent year-end prizes have provided additional momentum. With Boyhood poised for Digital HD release tomorrow (Dec. 9)—the Blu-ray/DVD arrives on Jan. 6—Arquette spoke to EW about her amazing Boyhood experience, struggling to say goodbye, and the house fire that kept the project going. READ FULL STORY