By: Movie Snurb (Two Beers) –
Beautiful Boy is based on a pair of best-selling memoirs by the father and son David and Nicholas Sheff. It’s about Nic (Timothee Chalamet) and his fight with addiction to crystal meth and his father David (Steve Carrell) having to watch his son spiral out of control and David’s attempts to help fix his son Nic. It’s a tough watch and brutally honest, anchored by two great performances.
Timothee Chalamet is possibly the best young actor working today. His range is only matched by a few actors, and his ability to jump emotions in a scene is impressive. Watching him, it felt like watching someone actually go through withdrawals and true addictive behavior. His goes from calm to manic in a matter of seconds, giving a very vulnerable and honest performance. Steve Carrell is also great even though he has less emotions to go through. Carrell seemed like he was destined to only do comedies until Foxcatcher and now he has emerged as an incredibly talented actor. Watching him give up on Nic because he’s beginning to realize he can’t force Nic to get better and that it has to be Nic that does it was heartbreaking to watch, and all too real. Maura Tierney and Amy Ryan are both great as well, however they were underutilized.
It’s clear this film was made with care because it’s layered in honesty. It never sets out to blame anyone, which is something that films like this would normally do. This film looks at addiction as a disease rather than a choice. It’s no one’s fault, no loved one can fix it, and it’s up to the person addicted to get help. We need more films like this to show what addiction really is and how it not only affects you but it affects your family.
The film’s biggest fault is in the editing. At times the film’s pacing was off- too slow and dragging, really so in the second act. Or it was too fast like in the third act where things felt rushed. There were also several scenes that felt like they were cut too quickly, so the scene wasn’t able to fully develop before they cut away to a new one. It wasn’t the entire movie like in All Eyez on Me, but it happened enough to be noticed. If it weren’t for these downfalls this could’ve been a serious Oscar contender.
Also, Maura Tierney and Amy Ryan were really underused in this film. Without them the film really wouldn’t have changed, which makes me wonder why would you cast such talented actors in the roles if you’re not going to really showcase their talents.
Essentially Amy Ryan, and Maura Tierney’s jobs in this film.
Beautiful Boy is a tender, heartbreaking, and honest film bolstered by two powerful performances. Unfortunately, that’s where it ends, because the film feels too long as a result of poor pacing. It’s still worthy of a watch to marvel at Chalamet.
Beautiful Boy (2018) Drinking Game
Do a Shot: every time Nic relapses.
Take a Drink: for every flashback.
Do a Shot: for every scene where someone cries.
Do a Shot: for every scene of drug use.