Director: Felix van Groeningen
Writer: Luke Davies, Felix van Groeningen
Based on: David Sheff‘s memoir Beautiful Boy and Nic Sheff’s memoir Tweak
Cast: Steve Carell, Maura Tierney, Timothée Chalamet, Jack Dylan Grazer, Oakley Bull, Christian Convery, Amy Aquino, Carlton Wilborn, Stefanie Scott, Marypat Farrell, Timothy Hutton, Amy Forsyth, Amy Ryan, Andre Royo
Seen on: 31.1.2019
David (Steve Carell) lives with his wife Karen (Maura Tierney) and their two children (Oakley Bull, Christian Convery), as well as David’s son from his first marriage Nic (Timothée Chalamet). Nic is about to finish high school and should be going off to college soon. But instead, David finds out that Nic is an addict. David puts Nic in rehab, and things seem to be going fine at first. But rehab is a long and hard process.
Beautiful Boy is a touching film about addiction that manages to escape the Hollywood treatment of its story and stays grounded in reality. It is fantastic.
Beautiful Boy centers David and Nic, leaving the other family members out for the most part. Since we rarely get to see father-son relationships that aren’t all from the son’s perspective and about daddy issues, that was really nice. Especially since Carell and Chalamet are pitch-perfect in their respective roles and with each other.
It helps here that the film stays realistic, neither making it seem like love can fix everything just like that (and that addiction is automatically due to a lack of love), nor that your entire life is over if you touch drugs just once. I have a family member who struggles with addiction themself and I was often reminded of my experiences with that while watching the film.
The film is also visually wonderful and has a beautiful soundtrack. There was once scene in particular in the film that I would just like to print out and hang on my wall. It was perfectly framed, perfectly lit and had a wonderful song playing and everything was just chef’s kiss.
Overall, it is a really well made film that gets to the heart of the matter in a calm, assured way, without artifically dramatizing an already dramatic situation and without being saccharine. It will stay with me for a while yet.
Summarizing: beautiful (no pun intended).