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Beautiful Boy

This film is based on memoirs of a father (David Sheff, who wrote Beautiful Boy) and son Nic Sheff (who wrote Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamines). The film opens with David (played by Steve Carell) visiting with an expert on crystal meth addiction to try to understand what Nic (played by Timothee Chalamet). The rest of the film documents, using a lot of flashbacks, how the addiction affected Nic and his family. The film has its powerful moments, particularly when Nic and his father were together. Chalamet is amazing; he has such command of Nic’s character and can seem to channel just about any emotion at will. His portrayal of a drug addict seemed spot-on. Steve Carell is also very good, as is Amy Ryan, who plays Nic’s mother. But the film is really carried by Chalamet’s performance. On the other hand, I found the movie annoying at times to watch; it kept bouncing back and forth in time, and I was sometimes confused as to which time period we were in. I also thought it was too long and repetitive – the flashbacks stopped adding any new emotional impact to the film. The film gets a thumbs-up from me for a compelling, true story about a compelling problem and a fine performance from Chamalet.

About Gary Burkholder

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