'Beautiful Boy': A Heartbreaking Portrait of Recovery
The most heart-wrenching and awe-inspiring film of the year, Beautiful Boy, is the true story of Nic Sheff and his father, David, and the experiences they endured while dealing with Nic’s addiction to crystal meth. The biography is told from both perspectives of father and son thanks to the novels they each wrote about their individual journeys.
Starring Golden Globe winner Steve Carell (The Big Short, The Office) and Academy Award nominee Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), this film was beyond spectacular. Director Felix Van Groeningen’s, in his English-language debut, shows us in just two hours the entire cycle an addict goes through during recovery. Throughout the entire film, Nic struggles with his health, shame, and desire for his family to be proud of him. This movie does not, by any means, sugar coat the recovery process. There are so many raw scenes of Nic and his father going through so much pain together that Chalamet and Carell execute flawlessly.
The best thing about this film was being able to see this story unfold in two different perspectives. Because of this, we were able to see what David and Nic were doing and how they were feeling while they were unaware of each other. This was thrown in our faces in a harsh way when David believed Nic was sober but, in the very next scene, we’d see him shooting up. These scenes were tough to watch but Chalamet made it hard to look away because of his impeccable portrayal of feeling internal pain and euphoria at the same time.
This film touched me so deeply that I haven't been able to think about much else since I saw it. While seeing Carell in a serious light was a little difficult at first, he completely mastered the role of a desperate father and contributed to such emotional and gripping scenes. Co-stars Carrell and Chalamet, director and screenwriter Felix Van Groeningen, and the real David and Nic Sheff (with the writings from their books) turned a tragic story of addiction into an artistic masterpiece. Beautiful Boy shines a light on drug abuse and helps an outside party understand how difficult the recovery process can be. I can’t rave about this movie enough; it is a must see of 2018. However, when you see this film, don't forget the tissues.