“Beautiful Boy”–movie review   2 comments

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Between the coming attraction trailer, the cast including a very already proven actor Steve Carell, an actor on the rise of a very admirable career ahead of him, Timothee Chalamet, after appearing in “Call Me By Your Name” and “Lady Bird, a favorite underrated actress Maura Tierney and what looked like a strong story based on books written by the father and son, I really was expecting a lot more from “Beautiful Boy”.

The movie is about a father (Carell) who doesn’t know what has happened to his beautiful boy (Chalament) who now a teenager is a hardcore drug addict. The father has no idea how to help his son or even what caused it and we, the audience, can only guess at the causes. Was it his parents getting a divorce when he was younger or is father remarrying?  He seems to love his stepmother (Tierney) and the two kids she and his father have.

We see the father struggling to understand what drug addiction is all about and he is there to help his son no matter how far the latter goes down from stealing his kid brother’s hidden money, to quitting school, to shooting up until he winds up in the hospital from overdosing. We see the son getting sober and relapsing with the latter looked upon as a part of the cure.

Most of the scenes between the son and father are powerful, moving and affecting but they are constantly interrupted by the non-linear timeline along with vistas along the west coast of California and pictures of their home and the surrounding area that are more an advertisement for the tourist bureau than they add to the story. Each time we get into the nitty-gritty of the boy’s addiction, the problems it causes and the places it takes him to, the camera swings to scenes of the ocean, the waves coming ashore, endless roads or even a picture of the son, with his siblings, running under a lawn shower.

While many scenes are realistic there are 2 taking place in a restaurant where the two shouting at each other isn’t noticed by the help or other patrons. A brief romance with another addict, played by Kaitlyn Dever, grabs the audience’s attention only to be forgotten about within minutes.

The 2-hour movie directed by Felix Van Groeningen, who also wrote the screenplay with Luke Davies, is really a powerful film with the scenes between the father and son only brought down and made boring by the other hour of veering off the course of their relationship. Do we really need to hear Perry Como singing “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler of the Roof” and taking us out of the picture for 3 minutes?

“Beautiful Boy” leaves you with a lot of questions that should have been answered in the unspooling of the film but instead leaving you with a bored feeling and asking why the two excellent performances of the male leads weren’t covered with a more in-depth story.

 

Movie trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHukcXhebxM

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2 responses to ““Beautiful Boy”–movie review

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  1. That’s too bad. It looked like it could be very powerful…

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