Beautiful Boy

Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell in a scene from Beautiful Boy.
Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell in a scene from Beautiful Boy.


The heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.


Sometimes we mourn the loss of people who are still alive more than the ones who are not.

Parting with someone who is still living is sometimes more painful than saying goodbye in death. Knowing that they are out there somewhere, and you can no longer protect or be with them is a torture that can drive any human to insanity. 

In Beautiful Boy, David Sheff (Steve Carell) faces this unthinkable reality when his drug-addicted son, Nic (Timothée Chalamet) struggles to escape his demons. Based on the real memoirs of both David and Nic the film takes an intimate look at the brutal reality of a family trying to claw their way out of the depths of darkness in the battle to get their son sober. 

Beautiful Boy is Belgian director, Felix van Groeningen’s first English-language debut that alternates effortlessly between beautiful sun-kissed scenes and raw moments of complete darkness. It so fluently flows from graceful softness to relentless agony as the viewer is enthralled by the family’s battle for some state of serenity once more. This back-and-forth between peacefulness and disorder is so accurately metaphoric of the capricious nature of addiction and the constant fight to find the light again. 

The film takes a stark look at how a talented young man with a bright future and abundance of opportunities looming in front of him can slip away into complete dismay for a mere few minutes of ecstasy. No matter Nic’s privilege and support system one thing is clear – drug addiction takes mercy on no-one. Once it sinks its poisonous thangs into its victim an exhausting and unrelenting eternal battle to overcome it starts. 

Timothée, previously seen in the cinematic masterpiece Call Me By Your Name, shows that at the age of 23 he has already mastered the art of selecting film roles that show not only the depth of his acting skills but also his understanding of what a superior cinematic masterpiece is. He delivers a delicate performance that brings to life a character you both deeply love and aggravatingly detest – a juxtaposition of emotions that every parent or loved-one of an addict so completely understand. 

The young star’s performance is made even more impactful thanks to the stellar work by Steve who delivers perhaps one of his most mature works to date. His masterful portrayal of a father who would do anything to save his son - even if it means letting him go - is perhaps one of the most crucial elements that tie this film together. 

Beautiful Boy is not only a cinematic triumph but also a touching and realistic telling of the heart-breaking reality of substance abuse and its relentless power of destruction and complete devastation.

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