Beautiful Boy takes the best adjective to describe itself and puts it in its title. It is indeed a beautiful story about addiction, heartbreak, family, love, persistence, friendship, and so much more.
The film, which is based on a true story, follows father and son David and Nic Sheff as Nic struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. It is portrayed in the film as a vicious and almost unbreakable cycle that is nearly impossible to get out of. For me, though, the more powerful theme that the movie portrays is the relationship between the father and the son. It shows how intertwined all members of a family are, because the actions of one can affect the others much more than that one realizes.
This relationship is brought to life perfectly by Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell. Chalamet, who is coming off his Oscar-nominated performance in Call Me By Your Name is incredible yet again. Everybody talks about the final scene in that movie, but Beautiful Boy should be the next performance he gives that everyone talks about. He can go from subtlety to all out emotion in the blink of an eye and it just makes him a wonder to watch.
Carell, meanwhile, gives the strongest performance of his career. His days of being a comedic actor are officially long gone as he gives a pitch perfect performance as this heartbroken father. He loves his son more than everything, and that is his motivation in the movie. It’s heartfelt and beautiful.
The evolution of this relationship is shown through flashbacks throughout the movie. Because of this, at certain points it feels like it’s Carell’s movie to carry, and at others, it feels like Chalamet’s. If it had focused on one of them more than the other, though, the movie would have felt incomplete. It finds a perfect balance between the two characters, because, after all, their stories are heavily intertwined.
My only knock on the movie is that it is a little bit too long. There are scenes here and there that could have been cut without altering the emotions at all. But overall, it’s great. You begin to feel like you’re watching one part of the movie played over and over again, but that is because of the terrible cycle that addiction brings Nic into. It is handled with masterful care to portray the severity of the problem.
Beautiful Boy is the best movie of the year for me. It has excellent direction, near perfect performances, and a story with enough emotional weight to move any viewer. It is emotional, impactful, and of course, beautiful.