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Beautiful Boy - A Movie Review

'Beautiful Boy' is a touchingly beautiful and heart-wrenching film.

By Marielle SabbagPublished about a month ago 3 min read
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Never fight battles alone.

Based on true accounts, Beautiful Boy is a 2018 film about a young man’s battle with drug addictions. Nic’s substance abuse takes a toll on himself and his family. His father endlessly pursues to help his son as Nic grapples with his addictions.

Beautiful Boy is a poignant exploration of the harrowing journey of addiction and recovery. This film is both heartwarming and heartwrenching. It’s a difficult film to watch, but the film presents a raw and unrequited portrayal of the devastating impacts of drug addictions.

Lately, I have been on a Steve Carell binge. He has proved to audiences that his skill set is not just comedy. Carell is an incredible and versatile actor, delivering a tremendous performance as David Sheff. Often, he speaks through his countenance.

David does everything to help his son, even doing unsafe things. For example, he experiments on drugs himself and has a random lunch with a drug-addicted woman. Nic is not the only flawed character. Carell does a remarkable job with how withered away David becomes from the stress of dealing with his son’s addiction.

To make his role as a drug addict authentic, Timothee Chaolmet worked closely with specialists. He also dropped an alarming amount of weight. Nic’s drug addictions progress to drastic behavior, health concerns, and life choices. Chalomet completely transformed into this role, embodying a splendid, tear-jerking performance.

Carell and Chalomet created a genuine and loving father-son bond. Their relationship is the most important part of the film. Every interaction is filled with love, tension, and anguish. It’s sad to see this relationship deteriorate during the worst of Nic’s addictions.

Beautiful Boy contains a strong ensemble of talented actors. Recently, I saw Maura Tierney in The Iron Claw. Tierney is not recognized enough for her strong abilities. Her best scene is when she chases after the drug-addicted Nic.

More credits include Kaitlin Dever, Amy Ryan, LisaGay Hamilton, Oakley Bull, and Christian Convery. Jack Dylan Grazer plays Nic at a younger age. I have been a big fan of Grazer ever since I saw his incredible talents in the IT films.

Felix van Groeningen went for an authentic approach, keeping in touch with the real family throughout production. Beautiful Boy is an intense film, but Groegingen’s nuanced direction creates a steady pace without overwhelming viewers.

My opinions on film editing have changed immensely. Editing is one of the most important technical aspects of films. It plays as a character. During a 7-month production, the movie was recut multiple times. Beautiful Boy only edits the necessary moments. Most of the film contains flashbacks to understand David and Nic’s relationship.

Initially, the editing was disjointed, cutting too soon to the next scenes or not finishing a scene. That’s when I understood it. We don’t need to see everything. The choppy edits mirror the chaotic nature of Nic’s struggles, offering a glimpse into the fragmented psyche of the characters. The film would only be repeating scenes.

The tone changes throughout Beautiful Boy, from light to dark. The music occupies different rhythms, unique from other films. It’s ominous, imitating a heart pounding. Compared to other films about the subject, Beautiful Boy depicts a lighter angle of drug addiction.

Be honest with drug problems or any addictions. The film, Chalomet particularly, does an accurate job with transitions. We need films like these to show us the devastating impacts of drug addiction and how it impacts families. Beautiful Boy is a touchingly beautiful and heart-wrenching film. It’s not for all audiences, but it may help anyone who is struggling.

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About the Creator

Marielle Sabbag

Writing has been my passion since I was 11 years old. I love creating stories from fiction, poetry, fanfiction. I enjoy writing movie reviews. I would love to become a creative writing teacher and leave the world inspiring minds.

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