‘Boyhood’ is remarkable feat well worth ticket price

I always tell people it’s not like breaking rocks for a living.

Many of you would argue it’s barely even working for a living.

But a critic’s job never ends.

Well, I mean, it eventually ends. We’re not immortal.

At least as far as you civilians know.

Anyway, that should help explain why I took 164 minutes out of a recent vacation and dropped $32.54 — $17.50 for the matinee at a luxury cinema, the rest on the artisan cheese and fruit plate, because that’s how I roll — to see “Boyhood.”

It was worth every second. And every penny.

Opening Friday at the Suncoast, “Boyhood” is one of the most remarkable films of the year. The story of young Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and his relationship to his divorced parents, Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke) and Olivia (Patricia Arquette), and his annoying older sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), was filmed by writer-director Richard Linklater during the course of 12 years. Its young protagonist literally grows up right before your eyes.

In an incredible feat of scheduling, the cast and crew reunited for three or four days each year to film another chapter in Mason’s life — namely his random adventures and adversities, as well as the random men Olivia brought home.

The passage of time is marked by the obvious physical changes as well as pop culture milestones. Mason Sr. takes the kids to see Roger Clemens pitch for the Astros. Mason dresses up as Harry Potter at a book release party. And he becomes obsessed with Will Ferrell’s viral video “The Landlord.”

So much could have gone wrong over the years, it’s insane that any filmmaker would have tried this. But if anyone could pull it off, it would be Linklater, who’s been checking in on Hawke and Julie Delpy every nine years since 1995 in the “Before” series.

Linklater also had easy access to another of his quartet of stars by casting his then 9-year-old daughter as Samantha.

But how in the world do you luck into finding a 6-year-old who’ll not only stick with a project lasting twice as long as he’d been alive, but one who won’t turn out weird looking and will actually be able to act in such a way that the result won’t feel like watching some stranger’s boring home movies?

Ultimately, the only thing more interesting than “Boyhood” may be the inevitable “making of” documentary.

Home cooking: Local chef Vic “Vegas” Moea competes on “Food Fighters” (8 p.m.Tuesday, KSNV-TV, Channel 3).

Back for more: Theresa Caputo returns to the Strip for another Vegas-based episode of “Long Island Medium” (9 p.m. Sunday, TLC).

As tough as it sounds: Las Vegas fitness model Randalene Sergent competes on “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge” (8 p.m. Sunday, CMT).

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567.