Courtesy of Studio Canal

Review: 'Beautiful Boy' reveals another side of Steve Carell

Movie: Beautiful Boy

Run Time: 2 hours

Rating: A

"Beautiful Boy" tells the real-life story of the Sheff family as it copes with its son’s drug use and recovery over the course of several years. The movie is based on the memoirs of David Sheff, "Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction," and Nic Sheff, "Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines." 

Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet) is addicted to crystal meth and struggles to accept this reality over the course of the film. Chalamet was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance. David Sheff (Steve Carell) tries to help Nic, his son, through his addiction while dealing with his own emotional problems following the events in the film. It was interesting to see Carell in a role outside of his usual comedy, and he does a fantastic job.

"Beautiful Boy" is a coming-of-age story for Nic and an acceptance story for David. The film follows Nic as he grows from adolescence into a young adulthood and, as he grows up, he runs to drugs in an attempt to escape his reality. David struggles throughout the movie to accept Nic for who he is, constantly trying to help him. However, Nic sees his father's attempts to help as trying to control his life. David constantly attempts to help Nic sober up leading to a lot of dramatic plot twists revolving around his actions that I won’t spoil.

David remarries prior to the events of the movie and the dynamics between him and his wife Karen (Maura Tierney), ex-wife Vicki (Amy Ryan) and two young children play out in interesting ways. David isn’t close with Vicki for the majority of the movie, but by the end David and Vicki start to reconnect while dealing with Nic’s addiction. Karen grows from supporting Nic to realizing how Nic’s actions are negatively affecting her relationship with David. She becomes the voice of reason as she attempts to explain Nic's situation to her young children.

I highly recommend watching "Beautiful Boy." The movie is visually stunning with some great long shots and vibrant scenery. Most movies about drug abuse seem very preachy, but "Beautiful Boy" is layered and depicts multiple sides of drug abuse. Although there are occasional flashbacks that initially ruined the flow of the movie, they proved relevant to understanding later scenes.

"Beautiful Boy" is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.


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