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Beautiful Boy

Opening Date
25 Oct 2018
M18 Drug and Sexual Scenes
120 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Felix Van Groeningen
Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney
Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.
By Rachelle  24 Oct 2018
Beautiful Boy is a heartbreaking story. It's scary. It’s toxic. It’s true. But it’s also essentially one of the greatest stories about love and sacrifice.
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Based on two New York Times bestselling memoirs, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey through His Son’s Addiction and Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines written by David and Nic Sheff respectively, Beautiful Boy is a biographical drama about the relationship between a  father and his son who is battling a drug addiction. The film marks the English-language feature debut of director Felix Van Groeningen.

The story of David and Nic Sheff is a heartbreaking one. It’s scary. It’s toxic. It’s true. But it’s also essentially one of the greatest stories about love and sacrifice. The core narrative of the film is David Sheff’s undying love and support for his son and his journey in helping him overcome his addiction.  His trials in helping Nic get better after every relapse he faces is truly inspirational, especially when its something that keeps happening over again. Very rarely do we get to see battles of drug addiction being fought by someone other than the addict himself which makes this film an eye opener in many ways. 

Steve Carell, who has proven to have range beyond his funny man persona, takes the lead as the doting father in this film. Carell really pours his heart out and uses every dramatic fibre in his being to portray David Sheff, a patient and understanding father who is constantly being challenged by his son’s demons.  

Starring opposite Carell is Timothée Chalamet. Fresh off his first Oscar nomination, it doesn’t take Chalamet long to serve up yet another buzz-worthy performance as he disappears into the role of recurring meth addict, Nic Sheff. 

The film may bank heavily on emotions but the choppy non-linear editing causes it to lose the emotional impact it set out to achieve. The presence of unmatched soundtrack also comes off as an unwelcome distraction that was unnecessarily playing against otherwise beautifully shot scenes. Regardless of these imperfections, the film still works. Though it goes without saying the real driving force of Beautiful Boy is inevitably the performances of Carell and Chalamet as a father and son duo.

Pro-tip: If poetry or Timothée Chalamet is your thing, stay till the end.
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