Actress Patricia Arquette finds it impossible to watch new film Boyhood without reminiscing about the ups and downs of her own personal life after shooting the movie over the course of 12 years.

Director Richard Linklater's ambitious project involved filming scenes on an annual basis for more than a decade to achieve a realistic ageing effect on its stars.

Arquette reveals she and her co-star Ethan Hawke were only given brief directions for the shoots and often drew inspiration from their own lives to act without a proper script.

The trio became close friends working on the project in secret for years and now Arquette struggles to watch the finished product without remembering which moments in their lives shaped the movie, from the birth of her daughter Harlow in 2003 to her divorce from actor Thomas Jane in 2011.

She tells Britain's Stella magazine, "All of that, I see it happening: 'That's right before my daughter was born, that's when I got married (to Jane), that's when I got divorced, that's when Ethan got divorced (from Uma Thurman)...'"