When it came to “Boyhood,” Richard Linklater admitted to The Guardian he used to joke co-star Ethan Hawke would have to step in and direct it, if he died before finishing the film. In the real world, however, the closest the film came to flying off the rails was when Lorelei Linklater asked if her character could be killed off part-way through production. Richard Linklater explained:
“That little extrovert kid who you see singing and dancing in the early scenes? Well, suddenly she hits puberty and everything changes. So one day she asked me: ‘Can you kill me off?’ Like an actor leaving a TV soap. ‘It’ll be a memorable episode and then I’ll be off the show.'”
For all the drama that transpires in “Boyhood,” Linklater declined to go that route, telling his daughter, “No, that’s a little too dramatic for what I have in mind.” That doesn’t mean it would’ve been unrealistic, mind you, as, sadly, plenty of people in the real world have had to deal with tragedies of that magnitude growing up. In the end, like any single movie, “Boyhood” is limited in its ability to encompass the entirety of the human experience … which is a polite way of saying it’s a film about a middle-class, seemingly cishet white family from Texas, so your mileage may vary so far as how much you feel it represents your own life. Even so, that it’s able to capture so much of its actors’ real-life coming-of-age journeys though a fictionalized lens as poignantly as it does it a testament to what Linklater and his collaborators were able to pull off here.
“Boyhood” will release in the 4K disc format on March 27, 2023.