Beautiful Boy (2018)
It took me a while to think about how to write this review. While real-life mysteries may be fun to watch, real-life tragedies are not, especially when it involves the lives of young people falling victim to addiction. I can’t pretend to say I know how this might feel because I’ve never been an addict but I grew up in a household with an alcoholic for a father, so I can somehow relate to movies about substance abuse, and I can certainly understand how families can be torn apart by it.
Beautiful Boy is very much a film about tragic circumstances, but it’s also a movie about love, trust and responsibility and how these things can so easily be taken for granted, abused until there is nothing left and rebuilt once again. Drug addiction is not just about the addict, and Beautiful Boy captures this aspect of living with substance abuse realistically and respectfully.
In short, this movie is based on the memoirs of Nik and David Sheff (father and son played by Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carrell), so it had the background and depth to become something genuinely memorable from the beginning. And it doesn’t disappoint.
Timothee Chalamet is astounding in his portrayal of Nik and seems to be going from strength to strength as an actor. Supported by Steve Carell and Maura Tierney (who we haven’t seen on the big screen in some time), the casting is spot on. Steve Carell’s performance as Nik’s father David is one of his best to date (at least one of the better performances I’ve seen from him in a dramatic role).
I couldn’t complete this review without mentioning the extremely awesome soundtrack which seems to fit perfectly with the different stages of Nik’s battle with addiction and the carefree life he seemed to have lived until addiction took hold of him. If you’re a 90s music fan, you’ll enjoy the soundtrack a great deal.
The GIF I chose to make is from a moment in the film that can only be described as one of the most heartbreaking. I see this moment in Nik’s life as the one that would scar him the deepest but in turn, would mark the beginning of the long and arduous journey back to himself and to his family once more.