Beautiful Boy (2018) Review


Father and son David and Nic Sheff battle against the addiction Nic has over many years. Attempting to survive, the relapse and the attempted recovery. Based on the memoirs from both men, a very tough and hard-hitting film.


I really liked the way they decided to show us Nic Sheff and the flashback scenes from David thinking about his boy when he was younger and trying to work out what part he played in his drug addictions. Trying to find that moment when it all went terribly wrong, the thing is though that moment does not exist and I think that is one of the key points this film is trying to make. You cannot take the blame or find out why he does it from a small moment. It is everything building up inside of him and how taking a drug takes away that pain and he eventually feels happy. When you find something so instant to make you happy, you can understand how it all becomes so addictive.

It also raises the point of what an addict looks like as I am sure I am not the only one who was thinking that Nic was not what you would expect. Again that shows just how uneducated we really are when it comes to this type of thing and how we must strive to become better aware of this type of issue.

Throughout the film I felt like I kept holding my breath as I was hoping so much that he would not relapse again and some of the major incidents would eventually help Nic see clearer and realise just what this was doing to those how love him unconditionally. Including his younger brother and sister who are starting to understand his actions a little bit more. His father David then putting strain on his marriage with Karen. Not that she does not care about Nic, of course she does but she needs David to find the balance for her and their two children as well.

I cannot lie and say this is easy to watch as it really isn’t, but I can say it has some outstanding performances. Timothée Chalamet with a very haunting performance from start to finish, going through so many emotions and being able to put that across in the best possible way. Steve Carell really knocks this one out of the park as well, both of them working so well with one another and it really makes it even more heartbreaking. I found his performance to be brilliant in terms of the development and how broken his character is at the end, he really does not know what to do anymore.

It really does paint an interesting picture of how drug addictions affect people in different ways, at no point in this one does Nic blame anyone else. I think that is something I expected to happen. That he was influenced fully by others, it was his choice. The scenes with the groups and then a sponsor show you part of the process, the rehab not being the solution but everything together just might be able to help the person in trouble.

Having heard quite a lot about this one beforehand I can fully understand the hype around the performance. The subject matter is a difficult one but handled in such a delicate way. Sometimes these stories don’t work out nicely in the end, if it is ever really possibly to fully recover from being an addict. Is it just something you learn to live with and have to fight a new battle each and everyday? That is what I got from watching this film and it really does break your heart knowing so many people suffer and there is not a lot you can do to really help them at times. Hopefully this film will help a little bit towards the families that are struggling to support a member of their family.

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