Richard Linklater and IFC’s Jonathan Sehring took the stage Sunday night beaming as they accepted the Golden Globe for Best Picture, Drama for Boyhood – the passion project Linklater called “the biggest leap of faith in film history.”
Linklater wrote and directed the coming-of-age tale over the course of 12 years, tapping youngster Ellar Coltrane to anchor the unusual film. Sunday night the little indie that could won Patricia Arquette the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, while Linklater also took home Best Director honors. Co-star Ethan Hawke, in attendance with Boyhood stars Coltrane and Lorelai Linklater, was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
Boyhood beat out Foxcatcher (Sony Classics), The Imitation Game (The Weinstein Co.), Selma (Paramount), and The Theory Of Everything (Focus Features) for the top honor Sunday night. Coincidentally, all four of its competitors are fact-based films in a year that’s seen a number of true tale awards pics come under fire over accuracy claims.
Linklater’s triumph is a historic score for the little guys and a leap forward for risk-taking filmmaking. “Boyhood was designed to include a certain kind of randomness to the future,” he told Deadline. “We were collaborating with an unknown that could be the adversary or the fun wild card, and that’s how we chose to look at it.”
The struggle in pitching such an out of the box concept was a battle in itself, Linklater said. “The response was like, ‘Oh, cool, 12 years. You see everybody grow up, OK, but what happens?'” I had to explain that Boyhood would be all these little things that get cut out of other movies and that don’t have a place in a traditional plot but that have a lot room in our lives.”
For IFC, the film has brought prestige and kudos for taking the chance on a $4 million film that’s now paid off, a dozen years and $43 million in worldwide box office later, as the specialty distributor’s most successful homegrown effort to date.