October 19, 2018

Beautiful Boy is in select theaters on October 12th, 2018.

A heartbreaking movie about the struggles of addiction and the toll it takes on themselves and others. Timothée Chalamet continues to make a name for himself with a committed, difficult to watch performance that anchors the story’s emotional core. It’s also a film that has its heart in the right place. Everything else, however, is a bit of a mess.

A drug addict’s spiral into self-destruction is far from the easiest thing to adapt for the screen, given the seemingly endless cycle that plagued their lives; however, there’s a heartfelt emotion running through it and to say nothing of the tremendous performances that enhance it further.

Timothée Chalamet with a similarly astonishing performance, embodying Nic Sheff. He’s angry and frustrated, fragile and exhausted and that Chalamet balances these tones so effectively allows Beautiful Boy to shine with him as the focus. Steve Carrell is wonderful as Nic’s father, David, showcasing a strong dramatic performance with his comedic edge blending gently throughout. Although their acting performances can only help it so much.

I wanted to love this movie but my biggest issues with the film was that the editing was messy, the use of music was all wrong, and the characters weren't fully fleshed out. It was difficult trying to adapt two novels from different perspectives (one from the father and one from the son) into one. It also becomes monotonous as the cycle goes on and on, worsened by a couple of false ends caused by the unsteady pacing. And despite a heartfelt approach that does summon some moving moments, it never hit quite as hard as expected. I thought it was good, just wanted more.

Beautiful Boy is powerful, emotional filmmaking and while the more muted, subtle approach to the strained screenplay prevents it from fully registering maximum emotion, the two stellar performance interlace enough heartfelt tenderness into it that the film succeeds for the most part in this sincere father-and-son drama.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

WillWill (Contributor) has called many places home but now resides in Michigan. An Air Force veteran and avid movie goer who enjoys indie movies just as much as major blockbusters. He is also a technology enthusiast.
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