Sunday, January 20, 2019

Beautiful Boy

Movie Name: Beautiful Boy
Year of Release: 2018
Director: Felix van Groeningen
Starring: Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan, Kaitlyn Dever, Stefanie Scott, Julian Works, Oakley Bull, Christian Convery, Kue Lawrence, Ricky Low, Andre Royo
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6 
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Synopsis and Review:
Director Felix Van Groeningen made a name for himself with the film "The Broken Circle Breakdown" which proved to be a critical hit back in 2012. "Beautiful Boy" is an adaptation of the memoirs from father and son, David and Nic Sheff. The film focuses on the progressive deterioration of Nic's life, as he becomes further consumed by drug addiction. As Nic becomes further enthralled by his addiction, his father desperately tries to rescue him from the temptation, and from himself. After landing in the hospital, Nic moves with his mom in LA, where he manages to go through a rehab program, but that is something that doesn't last for very long. Back in San Francisco while visiting his father and siblings, Nic falls back into old habits which sends him on a dangerous downward spiral.
"Beautiful Boy" is a film that depicts the descent of a promising young man into the pits of drug addiction, and the impact that his choices have on his father's life and the whole family. The film decides to focus more on the trials of the father, as he desperately tries to understand what is motivating his son to embark on such a perilous journey, revealing less about the reasonings behind Nic's addiction. It's a film that lives primarily from the performances from the acting ensemble the director has assembled. While Steve Carell is adequate, the stronger performances fall on Timothée Chalamet and Amy Ryan, both of whom create characters that transcend simple clichés (namely, the well-off young kid dealing with drugs, and the self entitled and career focused mom). The film lacks a grittier and far more realistic perspective into something as harrowing as drug addiction, but it is nonetheless an interesting view into the tribulations of a family going through something as devastating as drug addiction. A watchable yet un-memorable film.