Beautiful Boy (NOW PLAYING) starring Steve Carell, Timothee Chalamet, Maura Tierney, & Amy Ryan

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. -Film Synopsis

The title of this film (and the book) comes from John Lennon’s song “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”. David Sheff, a successful freelance writer, interviewed John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1980. This emotional, sensitive, and timely film (opioid addiction is a VERY serious/common issue today) is a BIT more from the viewpoint of the father, Dave (Carell), than his teen son, Nic (Chalamet- now 22 y.o.) I would’ve liked to see more of the mom, Vicki (Ryan); there are a few nice scenes w/ the stepmom, Karen (Tierney). Nic’s parents divorced when he was quite young; every Summer, he traveled from San Francisco to LA to spend time w/ Vicki. (We don’t know what her career is, BUT are lead to believe that she’s quite busy and also successful.)

As Nic got into his high school years, he became more withdrawn (spending a LOT of time alone, writing and drawing). Dave didn’t realize that his son was ALSO getting into hard drugs; he assumed that it was only marijuana that Nic was experimenting w/ (like MANY teens/college students). There was something missing w/in Nic which he couldn’t explain; drugs filled that void. Dave thought that he and Nic were closer than most fathers and sons. When Nic runs away from a rehab facility (for the second time), Dave sets out to learn exactly what kind of damage could be happening to his child. (Timothy Hutton has a cameo as an M.D. who specializes in addiction.) There are some fine, nuanced performances here, esp. from Carell (aging quite well/stretching his dramatic muscles) and Chalamet (who lost 25 lbs. for his role). There is more to this story, so check it out yourself! 

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3 thoughts on “Beautiful Boy (NOW PLAYING) starring Steve Carell, Timothee Chalamet, Maura Tierney, & Amy Ryan

  1. I really disliked this film — as much as I’ve disliked anything I’ve seen this year. I thought the good performances came from the women. I’m developing a fear that Chalamet is going to monopolize all the roles in this age range for years and I will have to stop going to movies I might otherwise want to see. To me it was exactly the same as “Call Me By Your Name” and I just don’t enjoy seeing his face enough to sustain two hours in a room with him anymore. And uch, Carell.

    Ah well 🙂 Hope we can still be friends 🙂

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    • My friend got discount tickets to see it, so I joined her; I’d have checked it out on Amazon/Netflix. I haven’t (yet) seen “Call Me By Your Name;” I saw Chalamet in “Lady Bird” & “Hostiles” (small role). He & Lucas Hedges are VERY popular right now, BUT who knows how long that will last? Maura Tierney & Amy Ryan were good (as expected), but Ryan didn’t have as much to do. I don’t think this movie (as a whole) was as effective as “The Hate U Give” (also focused on teens, family, growing up, etc). I saw it at an indie theater; the small audience seemed to like it. My friend commented that the divorce (many yrs ago) was what mostly affected (hurt) Nic, BUT that’s not shown much in the film.

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      • I felt like it was very much a “blame the distant mother” piece and I don’t have a lot of patience with that, but of course the book was written by the man so of course it’s from his perspective. I heard part of an interesting interview with Maura Tierney today on NPR (had to turn it off because I’d arrived at my destination) and she said that her character in the film had been really involved with Nic’s upbringing — since he was four or five.

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