Richard Linklater

REVIEW: ‘Boyhood’ Is a Subdued Portrait of the Modern American Everyman

Ever since he helped lay the foundations for the American indie film with Slackers, Richard Linklater has experimented with narrative form and structure more than any director. In defiance of every dramatic convention, his personal films, such as the Before Sunrise series and Waking Life, have willfully discarded plot in favor of dialogue heavily weighted with dialectic. Slackers, for instance, follows a group of young misfits and bohemians around Austin in a relay of conversations, never lingering on one for more than a few minutes — one character hands off the dialogue to the person he’s speaking to, she shuffles off to the next person, that person picks it up and takes it on to a fourth person, and onward until the film ends.

Like all inventors, Linklater’s experiments have been hit or miss.