Beautiful Boy (2018)

Title: Beautiful Boy

Year: 2018

Genre: Biography |Drama |

Runtime: 120 min

Director:  Felix van Groeningen

Starring: Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney

imdb 7,3/10


Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.


 Just as you might expect, this story that Beautiful Boy tells is a remarkable tragic story about a father that tries his hardest to keep his eldest son away from harmful drugs. It show the harm that these drugs will gain upon you. It has a humanity that is genuine and solid through some great performance by Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet.

This true story tells about New York Times writer David Shaff, that discover that his eighteen-year-old son Nic Shaff, is using drugs and tries to help in the best way possible. As he get him into rehab, both the doctor and Dave sees some progress. As he moves over to a smaller facility with lower security, Nic runs away. David and Nic gets by time, an estranged relationship, where the son constantly must prove to his father that he is clean.

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How their relationship used to be good, is depicted through multiple flashbacks and it’s probably the downside of this movie. As this movie takes place in real-time with some old tech, the editing make the movie’s flow hard to follow some time. Through the drama and the on-going engine Nic seem to always have as he struggles on-and-off with these harmful drugs. The music brings in the emotional factor to the silent moments where it helps the drama even more.  Nic goes constantly in and out of needing drugs and even one time, David tries it as well. This is never explained thorough as it’s a double book adaption from the real-life father and son.

Steve Carell is as usual a good candidate and as he has more often been involved in the more drama roles, which supposedly started on with Foxcatcher (2014) where he was critically acclaimed for that performance. He gives a solid performance and it’s easy to sympathize with his character as a father of three and two women in his life.  He tries to be rightful to his wife Karen (Maura Tierney) just as well to Vicki (Amy Ryan). He has some loving relationship to his youngest children and tries, as said before, to help his drug using son.

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Timothée Chalamet did get a Golden Globe nomination for his performance as Nic Shaff and without a doubt, he is worth it. Well, he should get it. He colorize his character with anxiety, regrets and addiction. He presents himself as a calm child but gets in to the difficult side of adulthood. He wants to quit the drugs, but his addiction makes him do it. He constantly fights with his father and, he make bad decisions. He gives a solid performance, for sure but it shouldn’t earn him a Golden Globe. Chalamet is persuasive as a drug user but his character lacks some depth.

With two characters that constantly battle against each other, it has some emotional and tragic moments. Humane moments that brings a needed closure. Eight year has passed and Nic is drug-free thanks to the love of his family. The editing should’ve been reformed or provided in some other way. The cinematography is clean, it’s not ground-breaking like this movie. This movie ain’t a masterpiece.  Although it showcase a tale on why love is needed when all hope is gone.

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Grade 3 of 5
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