Beautiful Boy Review

Beautiful Boy - Theatrical Poster

Drug addiction is a terrible epidemic no matter where you are in the world. Millions of people around the world struggle with drug addiction every day. Some people recover while some, unfortunately, do not make it to the next day. It’s a hard thing to overcome as you’ll find out in the family drama, Beautiful Boy. But is Beautiful Boy the kind of hard drama that’ll win over voters during awards season or is it just simply Oscar bait.

Although Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell both give powerful performances, it still can’t overcome the film’s various amount of issues.

Beautiful Boy follows Nic Sheff’s harrowing journey of relapse and recovery and David Sheff’s quest to help out his son before it’s too late.

Beautiful Boy - Timothée Chalamet & Steve Carell

The greatest thing that Beautiful Boy does is portraying the hardship of drug addiction in families. We’ve seen drug addiction films before from the point-of-view of the addicts themselves. But we get to see how it is from the point-of-view of the parents. Needless to say, it’s not an easy thing to take care of a relapsing drug addict. You give them as much care and love as you can but at what point do you just give up on them?

That’s the question that Beautiful Boy poses to the audience. The film goes through many instances where Nic Sheff goes through a relapse and does something incredibly stupid. It puts a strain on the relationship between Nic and his parents. After each relapse, you grow more and more sympathetic to Nic’s parents.

At the same time, this isn’t a film where Nic’s behavior is a result of bad parenting. Sure, Nic’s parents may be divorced but that doesn’t mean that his parents aren’t there for him. In fact, it’s quite the opposite since David Sheff may be a little too overbearing. David is the kind of parent who wants the best for his son but done his way. Whether or not this leads Nic to hard drugs is up to interpretation but you cannot deny that David loves Nic.

As you can probably tell, Beautiful Boy is a hard family drama. As the film progresses you’ll go through a wide array of emotions. Anger, sadness, frustration, happiness, and relief are just some of the emotions that you’ll go through. So basically you’ll go through the same emotions that drug addiction families go through.

Beautiful Boy - Timothée Chalamet & Steve Carell

Even though the film is only two hours long, the film feels like it’s three hours long. That’s because the film takes its sweet time developing each character’s storyline. However, the film gets repetitive after a while. The repetitive storyline of Nic getting better only to relapse again begins to get really old. Not to mention, the editing is extremely jarring and the film can get confusing at times because of it. As a result, the film isn’t the kind of Best Picture darling that it strives to be.

Be that as it may, both Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet should garner some Oscar nominations for acting. Chalamet, however, should win for his powerful performance as Nic Sheff. The talented young actor proves that he isn’t just a one-hit wonder after his stellar performance in Call Me By Your Name. He lives and breathes the role in such a way that it’s just heartbreaking to see.

Steve Carell also gives a powerful performance but it’s admittedly not as good as his past performances. Regardless, Carell is always good when he plays a parent. He just has this soft yet sternness to him that always plays well in a family drama. It’s also amazing to see Amy Ryan acting alongside Steve Carell once again. Unfortunately, Ryan is barely in the film to make a total impact as Nic’s mother.

Overall, Beautiful Boy is a solid family drama that doesn’t quite live up to the Oscar hype. It’s repetitive nature and odd editing wastes the powerful performances of its two lead characters. Unfortunately, it’s a waste of a perfectly good opportunity.

Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

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