BEAUTIFUL BOY is a heart-breaking story about the realities of drug addiction, adapted from the autobiographies of both Nic Sheff and his father David Sheff (Tweak and Beautiful Boy respectively).
Nic (Timothée Chalamet) has been struggling with his addiction to a range of drugs, but worst of all of them is methamphetamines. When he attempts to get clean, he faces many difficulties and many relapses. He even resorts to stealing money from his much younger brother. This film is a realistic depiction of the trials a person faces when they are in this situation. Much of the narrative is incohesive as it is told through flashbacks. This is done to compare how addiction has not only changed Nic, but everyone around him as well.
Steve Carell shows us his serious side as David Sheff, a man who discovers he knows nothing of his son’s life. A man who feels guilt for aiding his son’s addictions. A man who would do anything to save his son. But doesn’t everyone have their breaking point? Carell’s character answers this question for us by expressing that everyone can make mistakes, and that sometimes, there is nothing you can do to help.
Timothée Chalamet gives a ground-breaking performance as Nic Sheff. Chalamet can go from anger to tears in seconds, taking the audience with him. He twitches and shakes, and refuses eye contact – all attributes of an addict. But he brings depth to Nic as he also does what he can to be a good person, making the audience realise that any one of us could have fallen into the same traps that he did.
Some of the best scenes are between Carell and Chalamet as they shout and cry over how Nic is handling his addiction. There are also many sweeter moments between the two, such as when they utter the word “Everything” to each other; a significant saying they share. Their performances alone make this a worthy watch.
BEAUTIFUL BOY is a compelling film about the difficulty addicts face in becoming clean, and the lengths a parent will go to for their child.