The film follows a father named David (Steve Carell) and his son, Nic (Timothee Chalamet). These two go on a heartbreaking journey which will challenge them as Nic becomes heavily addicted to drugs (including crystal meth).
For those who are not aware, Beautiful Boy is a fact-based on the best-selling memories of a father and his son.
The best moments in this film involve the relationship between the father and son. David is a father who is willing to never give up on his son no matter the cost.
Beautiful Boy gives the audience a glimpse into the past, and the present as the film goes back and forth. We see many scenes of the father and son sharing innocent moments when his son was just a small boy, and then in the same location, a scene becomes a challenging moment in the present. The timing of these scenes is not always obvious, and I found these cuts going back and forth in time somewhat distracting as I was often trying to work out if I was about to watch something from the past or the present.
Steve Carrell does manage to deliver many memorable moments on screen, but if I’m honest, his true potential as an actor feels missed in many vital opportunities. I was rather impressed with Timothee Chalamet’s performance. He delivers so much emotion on screen, portraying a young man in pain and suffering emotionally. Even his bony appearance makes him look damaged physically and mentally broken due to the effects of drugs he has used over time.
The reality is movie lovers will respond to this film differently regarding the emotions and drama presented on screen. I can’t relate to the themes of drugs, but I understand the struggle of anyone being addicted to something and trying to defeat it. On the flip side, I have a baby boy on the way (my 1st child). And watching a father care so passionately for his son, wanting him to be safe and beat his addiction got to me.
Overall, Beautiful Boy is a dramatic tale which will test the relationship of both father and son. The performances are solid, in particular Timothee Chalamet’s and Steve Carell. The film’s creative way of telling the story by going back and forth can be distracting. There are themes here we can all relate, even if you’re not a fan of films that discuss drugs. Some addictions in life can kill or ruin you.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden