Beautiful Boy teams Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet in an adaptation of two memoirs, ‘Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction’ and ‘Tweak,’ by David and Nic Sheff. The movie, opening on October 12, follows David Sheff (Carell) as he tries to get his eldest son, Nic (Chalamet), off drugs.
This film is more than just a hard-hitting drama about drug addiction and its dire effects. Beautiful Boy has a message of hope, delivered through a painful reality: there’s no easy way to kick an addiction. Here’s how the film turns a difficult topic into a must-see fall release.
The books follow Nic through a heartbreaking psychological rollercoaster ride as he experiences mood swings and grapples between wanting to be better and choosing to remain dependent on drugs. His emotional shifts come at the flick of a finger, and it’s through this deep emotional turmoil and broken relationship with his father that the books explore the seemingly never-ending struggles that come with addictions.
That same conflict is at the center of the upcoming Beautiful Boy. Carell’s David does everything he can to help his son while Nic either refuses to seek out help or gets caught up in a vicious circle of relapses and bad influences. It’s a powerful dynamic, and one the movie delves into through a gripping dual perspective.
Angles On Addiction
Addiction doesn’t just affect the person suffering from it. The condition impacts everyone around them as well. Beautiful Boy conveys this dual impact by telling its story through two Nic and David’s distinct perspectives. Speaking with IMDb during the Toronto International Film Festival, director Van Groeningen explained how the movie’s dual points of view allowed him to delve deeper into the subject:
“[There are] movies that talk about addiction, but often it’s from […] one point of view. Here we really switched point of views and because of that […] it lays out the complexity of people going through this in a very simple way.”
Nic offers the first-hand perspective of drug addiction. His self-destructive path is the crux of the story, as he goes from a mild-mannered teen to a very unstable young adult. Then there’s David, through whom the film delves into the collateral damage brought on by drugs. He grapples not only with his son’s illness, but also with his own guilt. He constantly looks for ways to blame himself for Nic’s predicament.
Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Beautiful Boy is unrelenting in its exploration of addiction and the problems that come with it. But the lives of the Sheffs are not all pain and gloom. Hardships and drama aside, the movie celebrates hope through Nic Sheff’s desire to do right by his family. There’s no denying that the conflicted young man serves as the film’s primary source of tension. Beneath his anger and incessant internal conflict, however, there’s a person who wants to get better for himself and his loved ones.
While there’s no turning back from the emotional turmoil endured by his family as a result of his addiction, Nic’s willingness to accept help opens the possibility of a brighter future. That’s a powerful message, and it’s one that will likely make audiences remember Beautiful Boy for years to come.
Beautiful Boy opens on October 12.