Review: Beautiful Boy

Title: Beautiful Boy
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Felix van Groeningen
Starring: Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney
Runtime: 2 hrs

What It Is: Nic (Chalamet) is a drug addict. His loving father David (Carell) is doing anything and everything he can in order to get his son off of the poison he’s putting into his body. With the help of his new wife Karen (Tierney) and his ex-wife (and Nic’s mother) Vicki (Amy Ryan) they’ll try as they might to save this beautiful boy. Based on the true story of David and his son’s struggles with substance abuse.

What We Think: I feel as though in more capable hands this would’ve been better. I feel the scope was too much for van Groeningen. Emotionally speaking the film really REALLY wants you to get behind it. To feel for Nic, that’s ineffective. He comes off as a complete a-hole. Carell is good at evoking sympathy as Nic’s loving father but too often the script just really lets you down. van Groeningen’s direction is by no means anything to write home about. A very disappointing feature from the normally strong offerings by Amazon Studios. More on that in a bit.

Our Grade: B-, Otherwise decent this had potential to be a years best. With an irritating (but good) performance from Timothee Chalamet. Maura Tierney is a showstopper in her supporting role and I do recommend the film even if it didn’t quite live up to the standards I set for it. Regardless, and thankfully the film is easy enough to get to as it is on Amazon Prime. This is one that I think will resonant with people who have struggled with or know someone struggling with addiction. You might even know a Nic yourself. Either way it’s a slight recommendation even if it doesn’t live up to the potential it had.

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