Beautiful Boy, 8.16/10, is a raw depiction of how there really are no bounds to how far a father’s love for his son will go. Focusing on Nicolas Sheff (played by Timothée Chalmet) and his harrowing battle with mental health and narcotic addiction but from the perspective of the loved ones around him, Beautiful Boy is no easy watch. Viewing this film is very repetitive, emotionally draining and an all round melancholic experience which I found a display of what life is like when living with an addiction.
What I found most brilliant about Beautiful Boy – among many things – was the orchestration of pace and tone. When conflict rises between Nic and his father – David Sheff (played by Steve Carell), director Felix Van Groeningen chooses to segue in and out of flashbacks of their relationship through Nic’s childhood. A gentle reminder that at a time when Nic is slowly fading away, all David can see are the innocence and prospects that were once held by his son.
The cinematic style within this film has certain graininess that reminded me of looking at old childhood photos and it is a faultless addition to the overall message of the movie; don’t ever forget who you are and have been at time when it feels as though you have no idea. This film is not a Hollywood glamorisation of drug use, this film is not a happy ending block buster. This is a true display of the shocking reality of addiction.
Beautiful boy is a beautiful display of kinship between a father and a son. Steve Carell’s performance is just another display that he is more than a one-lane actor. He is both a comical phenomenon and able to deliver a powerfully heartfelt performance that is completely investable. Timothée Chalmet has shown yet again that he is sure to become the recipient of an Oscar. Playing a junkie is no easy role to take and there is a thin line between the true representation of what that would really be like or a simple performance that the audience would glance over without seeing the true struggle of addiction. This is hard 2 hours of cinema but one that needs to be seen. As you sit down in your seat be sure to strap yourself in, as from the off you are in for an emotional rollercoaster.
Entertainment (of its genre): 8/10
Overall rating….. 8.16/10
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