Based on the memoir Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff, the film Beautiful Boy chronicles an addiction riddled boy, Nic Sheff. Torn between wanting to help him but fearing they’ll enable him, his family is constantly on edge, something we see play out through the movie’s entirety.
This film was haunting, to say the least. Once again, Timothée Chalamet did what he does best: connect with an audience. While it was extremely jarring to see someone so young go through such a taxing disease, it was also a bit of a wake-up call.
With Steve Carell and Amy Ryan playing his parents, David Sheff and Vicki Sheff, you are bound to fall in love and feel for this family. I admit it is sometimes a bit difficult for me to see Steve Carell as a dramatic actor, so going into this film I had my doubts. But one emotional breakdown in and I was SOLD on him as David. The relationship Carell and Chalamet curated on screen is one you will think about long after you walk out of the theater.
Maura Tierney’s performance as Karen Barbour is one that I think has been overlooked by critics. She did an amazing job as Nic’s step-mother; she and Chalamet were able to capture a step-mother/step-son relationship that is often times difficult to understand in regular situations, let alone one that is heightened by a drug addiction.
There’s something so earnest about this film that really grounds you in its world; a world we all exist in. Whether you know someone personally who has struggled with addiction or not, you can understand how exhausting and difficult it can be.
At times the movie did seem a bit repetitive, but I blame that on the subject matter. Anytime you’re dealing with addiction on-screen, it’s hard to show its complexity while also bringing new takes to the table scene after scene after scene.
Overall, if you want a good cry watch this movie! It deals with the duality of addiction and love and will also make you want to check up on your family.
Beautiful Boy is now playing select theaters.