Half of my life I've waited for Boyhood. Since I read about it all of those years ago (approximately 11), I have gotten my driver's license, experienced a few relationships and survived through elementary, middle and three-fourths of high school. I've completely changed from the time I heard about this movie to now. And that's miraculous to think about. Aging and life, and how, through all the highs and lows, I was still anticipating this film. Back then it was "Complete 12 Year Movie Project" so I did not know exactly what it was. At one point I believe it was "A Boy's Life", but I think that was just IMDb being IMDb. Barely any news or rumors or anything at all were exposed through those first 11 years, but there was still this sense of magic that the movie was building year in and year out.

And now it came and went. The waiting is over. And although I absolutely loved the film, I feel empty in a way. There comes a point when anticipation becomes overfamiliar. The movie was always at the back of my mind. For 11 years. What it was going to be and how it was going to turn out. All these ideas and scenarios and conflicts and memories played out in my head for so many years, and then, I was in a theater. I can't accept that it's finished; sure there are more movies to look forward to, but this was more than half of my life. I almost feel depressed by it. "I remember thinking: I don't want us to put [Boyhood] out; I want us to keep doing this, and I don't want to stop," Patricia Arquette says in an interview. And she's right. I mean, clearly she got way more attached and invested in this film project, but I did feel the same way. I didn't want Boyhood to be released. I wanted to wait longer and longer since it just became a part of life.  This movie has always been there to look forward to, and now it's gone.

But to put things into a different perspective, I can't even begin to express how excited I was to finally see it. I even drove 200 miles to a theater in Chicago (since it hadn't released near me). And now that I have seen it (three times), I am floored. Boyhood is the best movie of the year and is now one of my favorites of all time.

And that is not because of anticipation. The film is a beautiful look on growing up. It's incredible and unique and perfect. Yeah I've seen it three times, but I still can't wait to see it again. I am so grateful to be apart of this time; Boyhood almost perfectly mirrors my journey from childhood to adulthood. Not in its story, but in its idea and execution. I grew up at about the same time as the boy, Mason, and seeing it all in a three-hour film was more than moving. Perhaps my praise is leveled higher due to this feeling of nostalgia, but man, Boyhood is absolutely extraordinary. Richard Linklater has created an unbelievable achievement in cinema, not only in its production but as a film itself.

Boyhood is very simple in its storytelling. There is no complexity, twists or melodrama. It's just a boy growing up from age six to 18 and all of the little memories that go with it. That is it. Linklater chose not to show the big moments and instead film the little, insignificant things. It works because it's real. The insignificant episodes of life are the ones that stick. Boyhood is the first coming-of-age film that successfully depicts coming-of-age. Not because Ellar Coltrane (and the whole cast) grows up in front of our eyes, but because the film subtly builds each character and matures them into new people. Experience demands aging, which is shown through the entire family, most notably Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke).

Child actors are risky. They're usually the weakest point of a film and struggle to bring realism to the screen. The boy, Mason (Ellar Coltrane), and the girl, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), do an excellent job at portraying these characters. Their acting obviously evolves over the film; a six year old kid can only do so much when it comes to acting. It's really amazing to see them grow into their own. Linklater didn't write a lead that would appeal to everyone; he chose one with specific interests, opinions and a voice. So many films shy away from making kids and teenagers true people while this film nailed it right on the head. Mason isn't one to be liked by everyone; he's realistic.

The performance that stands out, however, is Patricia Arquette as Olivia, the mom. She adds a whole range of emotions and definitely deserves an Oscar-nom next year. Her growth from the beginning to the end was remarkable, and her final scene is just heart-wrenching. Ethan Hawke also delivers a great performance, capturing the highs and lows of what a dad goes through. He steals every scene he is in.

The film also contains an amazing soundtrack that ranges from Arcade Fire to Coldplay. Nostalgia definitely digs into your side at these moments. You just can't forget High School Musical, Britney Spears or Solja Boy. Linklater has an amazing ear for music (see Dazed and Confused). Music is a large part in his films.

I'm a sucker for breathtaking cinematography and editing, which are not exactly present in Boyhood. Apart from some gorgeous shots and long-takes, the cinematography does not stand out. That isn't a bad thing. It's like we're right there with everyone; the camera doesn't bring attention to itself nor does it need to. And the editing does what the story demands: it creates a pace so flawless that makes the film fly by (and looking deeper into it...it's like life). The editing doesn't do anything dumb. No 'one year later' cards. No useless fades. No unneeded cuts and no overlong scenes. The editing may not be eye-catching, but it makes the movie what it is.

From Harry Potter books to Gameboys to talking about Star WarsBoyhood makes you reflect. It makes you happy and sad and look on to the future. I believe a film is successful if it makes you contemplate about yourself. Enjoying a movie is one thing, but actually being affected by one is something completely else. The power film has is insane and sometimes it isn't even realized until days later. I loved Boyhood the second it ended, but it never really hit me how special it actually is until a few hours later.

The movie is getting a Criterion Collection release, which I'm so excited for. That company is my soul when it comes to collecting movies. Their releases are consistently beautiful, which Boyhood definitely demands and deserves. I'm pre-ording this baby as soon as it is announced.

Boyhood is an absolutely spectacular achievement in film and life. It's a true look into adolescence and parenting. It's not so much about the boy himself growing up but about growing in general. From Mason to Samantha to Olivia to Mason Jr., growing and changing continues for all of life. Richard Linklater has delivered his masterpiece, taking a magnify-glass to showcase both childhood and adulthood in a unique and honest way. It's simply one of a kind.

I just thought there'd be more.