Beautiful Boy paints a provocative, heartfelt, and daring portrait of addiction, family, and love. This biographical drama is an adaptation of father and son David and Nic Sheff’s best-selling memoirs Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction (2008) and Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines (2007) respectively.
Beautiful Boy tells the tale of Nic Sheff (played by the new it-boy Timothée Chalamet) and his relationship with drugs and his caring father David (Steve Carell). I came out very surprised by Chalamet’s dramatic range. Both actors equally captured something so unique and raw in such demanding dramatic roles.
While at times flawed (the score was sometimes odd or distracting), the film is a tour de force for the rising Chalamet, but a bit of a miss in regards to Carell’s own performance. Major props must be given to Maura Tierney, who portrays David’s new wife Karen, and manages to capture step-motherly love and care so often missed in Hollywood portrayals of inter-dynamic family drama.
This pertinent tale is beautifully written by Australia’s very own Luke Davies and marks the gifted Belgian director Felix von Groeningen’s first English-language feature debut. I highly recommend seeing Beautiful Boy at the Adelaide Film Festival either this Saturday or next Wednesday, or to at least wait for its home release.
Reviewed by Dylan Rowen.