BEAUTIFUL BOY (2018)

beautiful-boy-carell-chalamet

Directed By: Felix Van Groeningen
Written By: Luke Davies & Felix Van Groeningen
Based On The Books “Beautiful Boy” & “Tweak” By: David Sheff & Nick Sheff
Cinematography By: Ruben Impens ”
Editor: Nico Leunen 

Cast: Steve Carell, Timothee Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Amy Aquino, Timothy Hutton, Amy Forsyth, Amy Ryan, Andre Royo, Kaitlyn Dever, Lisagay Hamilton 

Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.

This is a film where you know what you are going to get and it plays accordingly. Though it plays more brightly and positive then one would expect. So much so that it kind of leaves you floating at first.

While based on a true story. So that the events and emotions feel real enough. The film seems to lack any real passion as it does tell it’s story matter of factory and the scenes hang heavy with emotions.

It seems more to rely on the soundtrack at times to fill in what might be missing in dialogue or action

So that it almost works as a jukebox musical on the broadway stage might only here cinematically it more feels like emotional manipulation hidden as soundtrack choices to ground the film into a certain time period and where the characters feel the most from.

It’s an addiction drama that does and do it have anything wrong with it. It just feels like something you have seen before time and time again. That doesn’t really mark itself as different and doesn’t seek to be that way.

Though it does feel more like a film made to be prestige. Something that I’m the past seemed more to cater to the awards crowd seeking validation rather than a film that needed to be made or story that needed to be told. It’s based in two bestsellers by the father and son that are basically the same story of the same experiences only from each’s point of view

The film is strange in that it is an addiction drama but also a family film. While the subject matter can be seen as racy as well as some of the language and an actual sex scene that you can barely tell is one. This seems like a movie a whole family could watch as a kid. Of warning sign film but also the power of a families love for own another’s.

This film All but disappeared on arrival as it was talked about but when it was time to be released there was barely of any advertisement and hard to find playing anywhere. So I am glad It has been released for more Audiences to see. After a while it feels repetitive, What keeps you interested is the performances you get the emotions even if it all feels familiar and thence flourishes tried only cause more attention to be paid to them rather then drowning the story.

While it is a true story part of the problem is that the character seems to become an addict from just experimenting with drugs. No real big reason there are hints of maybe feeling a bit alienated due to his father being remarried and having new kids but their relationship feels pretty solid. So that the film feels like more a story of someone privileged who got addicted to drugs for their own reasons they are hard to sympathize with and his fathers and wavering love for him. Going so far as to try the drugs himself to see how it affects his system and why it might be so addictive after going to many experts and doctors asking around about the effects and maybe causes of addiction. Again I am only going by how the film presents it. Not what happened in real life.

The scene that rang with the most truth was one of the earlier ones where he puts his son in a rehab that seems to work that gives his son a healthy chance of staying clean that he alters learn is a lie and that they more seem there to take his money.

This scene is better to begin with as it makes it seem at first like this will all be simple but clearly shows that it is going to get much worse before it will even come close to getting any better.

The acting is solid across the board. Steve Carell is believable and heartfelt as the father who feels like he can’t do anything no matter how much he tries.

Timothee Chalamet again gives a powerful performance as his drug addicted son. Who is your n and out of his fathers life and it never feels like he is giving over to acting over the top or showboating in a role that is pretty easy to do that in.

The film ends abruptly. Though it tries to send a message with the final image. Which is one of the powers of cinema and at times the film tries to this in other scenes as the landscape no matter good or bad, happy or sad always looks beautiful in the background. Which helps ground but also offers a opposite reflection of the mood to even more accentuate the tone by bathing in bright when it is dark, Almost spotlighting it. Luckily it never feels overwrought.

It ends up more a study of relapse rather than street stories or rehab memoirs.

Grade: B-

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