#REVIEW: “BEAUTIFUL BOY”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Beautiful Boy is a raw look into the lives of those affected by addiction and the impact it has on their family. It’s based on two best-selling Memoirs from father and son David (Steve Carell) and Nicolas (Timothée Chalamet) Sheff. The Film chronicles both Mmemoirs and tells the heartbreaking story of Nic’s addiction to Methamphetamine through both Nic and David’s perspectives. As a teenager, Nic was a promising student but once he became addicted to Meth his entire future became threatened. When his father, David, begins to notice the drastic change in his son he does whatever he can to save him.
Screenwriters Felix Van Groeningen and Luke Davies have written a unique take on the addiction story. Throughout Nic’s addiction and his attempts at recovery, he experienced many relapses. Groeningen and Davies’s script focuses on these relapses and the effect they have on Nic, David, and their family. In doing this, the Screenwriters have taken away the common clichés which accompany addiction-themed films. Beautiful Boy is about showing the reality of addiction, relapse, and how difficult it is to achieve recovery. Groeningen also takes this relapse theme to his Director’s chair. His nonlinear storyline and direction reflect the nonlinear path of addiction to recovery. However, the rest of his direction rests upon still and lingering frames that let his Cast breathe emotion into the narrative.
Steve Carell is a truly versatile and perhaps underrated even. He gets to show one of his finest performances to date in Beautiful Boy. Carell subtly becomes David Sheff and displays the anxiety that comes along with watching someone you love struggle with addiction. The entire Film Carell effortlessly balances on a fine line between the emotions of anger and unconditional love. Then there’s Timothée Chalamet outstanding performance as Nic Sheff. Chalamet seamlessly becomes Nic and provokes audiences to have empathy even in Nic’s darkest moments. The two of them have a powerful chemistry that shows best in a poignant scene where they meet in a coffee shop.
Overall, Beautiful Boy has a talented Cast, a powerful true Story and a Script that all work together to give us a heartfelt, authentic account of addiction.
VVS Films release BEAUTIFUL BOY on Friday, October 19, 2018.