Timothée Chalamet has risen to fame quicker than you can say Call Me By Your Name. At just 22 he became the third youngest nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actor, and with many upcoming roles Chalamet has cemented himself as a rising star and gifted talent. Based on the pair of best-selling memoirs from David and Nic Cheff (Steve Carell and Chalamet) Beautiful Boy recounts one family's harrowing experience of addiction, relapse and recovery.
This bleak druggy drama excels visually regardless of its scattershot structure. Carell and Chalamet deliver two winning performances as a son and father at their wits end. Beautiful Boy exhibits fittingly beautiful cinematography utilising warm, subdued lighting and numerous thought provoking shots giving the film a remarkably home-grown feel. Director Felix van Groeninegn visualises the ups, downs and sharp left turns of drug use, but consequently the film is edited with the same erratic inconsistency. Beautiful Boy abruptly cuts between the past and present - although trying to establish the father-son dynamic before narcotics overcame Nic's life has all the giddiness of shooting a line of cocaine. Added to this, the music just does not work in junction with the story. Although the score sometimes reflects that numbing sensation of being under the influence, overall its shrieking effect clashes with the film's more delicate tone.
Beautiful Boy is nevertheless an emotionally affecting biography. With the risk of being too soppy, Groeninegn has exposed all the truths and impacts of drug abuse, specifically focusing on the cataclysmic impact it has on all of the family members. Through Chalamet's detached performance balanced by the sheer desperation of Carell's this impactful story emphasises the prevalence of drugs in youth groups, along with the wayward and haphazard road to recovery.
Important albeit imperfect, Beautiful Boy is a hard-hitting drama that spotlights extremely relevant current social affairs. Groeninegn reveals a lot of obscure beauty through the camera demonstrating notably above average cinematography, although it's frustrating however that the film doesn't have the same flawless structure. Impulsively flipping between flash backs and modern day, Beautiful Boy is pretty confused - but beautifully bleak all the same.
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.