Richard Linklater’s Boyhood found critical acclaim and was nominated for several Oscars including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. The film cast a young boy as the star of a film which would ultimately tell us what it is to be human. Linklater shot a little bit of the film each year for 12 years starting in 2002. Keeping the same actors, and altering the script to make it relevant to what was popular with children in that year (for instance, the release of the Harry Potter books and singing popular songs of the time from icons like Britney Spears), anyone watching the film, particularly those of us that are about the same age as Boyhood star Ellar Coltrane, can relate to him and his interests. Ultimately however, Boyhood holds universal appeal. No matter what age a person is, or where they are from, they have all experienced childhood, and the complicated, joyful, heartbreaking, exciting, and memorable moments that come with it.
That is perhaps why Richard Linklater, who at first refused to make a sequel, is reconsidering it. This is what he had to say on the idea:
“To be honest… this film first met its audience exactly a year ago and for the first six months of the year, my answer to that was absolutely not. This was twelve years, it was first grade through 12th grade; it was about getting out of high school. I had no idea about another story, there’s nothing to say. It hadn’t crossed my mind. But I don’t know if it’s been a combination of finally feeling that this is over or being asked a similar question a bunch over the last year, that I thought, well, I wake up in the morning thinking, ‘the 20s are pretty formative, you know?’ That’s where you really become who you’re going to be. It’s one thing to grow up and go to college, but it’s another thing to… So, I will admit my mind has drifted towards [this sequel idea].
The twelve years [structure] came out of [school structure]. It wouldn’t have to be twelve years. It wouldn’t have to be… I mean, who knows. I mean, if I learned anything on the Before trilogy it took five years to realize that Jesse and Celine were still alive and had anything to say. This one would probably be more accelerated, but who knows“.
Would a Boyhood sequel make a good film? Perhaps filming life in the 20s and exploring early adulthood from the end of the teen years up until age 30 when a lot of people begin to settle down make for a good film. Either way, Boyhood remains an innovative and important piece of art and should be considered alone as a masterpiece.