I donít like to start out with plot description in film reviews, but I kinda feel itís necessary in this case; itís the most remarkable fact about the film. It takes place over 12 years. While that doesnít sound unprecedented (does that make it precedented?), it very much is; it was filmed bit by bit over a 12 year period. We literally see the Mason (the protagonist) grow up. We also see his family age as well. Itís quite the experiment in filmmaking.
So aside the jarring sight of seeing people age incrementally, this leads to some incredibly unique storytelling. Instead of simply watching watershed moments in peopleís lives, you can really see subtle differences in character as the film progresses. Sometimes, theyíre for the good, sometimes for the bad. It really demonstrates that people arenít static entities; they are constantly changing.
I will admit, however, that despite all the nuances, what Iíll remember above all is the sense of nostalgia you canít help but feel at the end. I must confess that I got a little choked up at the end watching Mason head to college. It felt like I knew him as a boy, despite the fact that I only met him 2.5 hours earlier.+4