New Movie “Beautiful Boy” Shows How Ugly Addiction Can Be

February 21, 2019

Just a warning, there’s a mild spoiler alert involving the movement of the plot, so please read at your own risk. Amazon’s new movie “Beautiful Boy” (2018), adapted from memoirs by David and Nic Sheff, documents Nic’s struggle with his crystal meth addiction and how that affects his relationship with his father, David. While this movie features beloved Steve Carrell and heartthrob Timothée Chalamet, it also brings awareness to the rising drug addiction rates recorded in the United States. The book seems to include more of a biological and chemical standpoint to Nic’s addiction, whereas the movie is more about how addiction influences your relationships with others, specifically parental relationships. You can’t help but feel bad for David when seeing his son in so much pain, and when Nic is detoxing, it unleashes a wide range of pathos. The overall tone of the movie is somber and oddly hopeful. You’re pulling for Nic to sober up, and when he unfortunately relapses, you feel all of the pain and frustration David feels. The actor's portrayal of their characters awarded them praise and great reviews which shows from its 69% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The only real criticism is the movie’s confusing editing pattern. “Beautiful Boy” is comprised of a series of jump cuts back and forth in time, throwing off the movie-watcher. With the timeline and subject matter in mind, the movie can be unsettling to a few. Ultimately, “Beautiful Boy” is a stunning but heartbreaking story of how addiction can tear families apart temporarily, but teaches you that you don’t give up on the people you care about.



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