Beautiful boy: The complexity of addiction and family relationships

Sunday, June 20

By Ana Trucco

Rarely do I actually sit down and watch a movie. If I have time, I would normally choose to read or play guitar for as long as I’m able to. However, last week I decided to give “Beautiful Boy” a chance and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

The film, released in 2018, follows the story of Nic (Timothee Chalamet) and David Sheff (Steve Carrell) as they go through the awfully heartbreaking journey of Nic´s addiction to crystal meth which, as said in the film, basically has the lowest survival rate of all drugs. Both lead actors give an outstanding performance considering the depth of the issue this movie tackles and the key fact that, since the movie is based in a true story, they are playing real people who will see their performance. Chalamet and Carrell prove to have unmatched chemistry that keeps you on edge the whole time and causes the viewer to empathize beyond words. I could feel their hurt and anger through the screen. This movie is a beautiful representation of a father’s sacrifice to try and do what’s best for his son as he becomes a soul consumed by darkness,  emptiness and need who, even in the depths of hurt, remains his beautiful boy.

As far as directing goes, I believe Felix van Groeningen's approach was wonderful and extremely captivating. Although, I must say, I personally found it a bit slow at times. But, overall, it honestly broke my heart completely. 

As someone who has not gone through an addiction neither of my own or of someone I care about, it gave me a whole new understanding and perspective on the matter. In a world that has grown so quick to judge, this film teaches us about the background of addiction and how much it hurts and even destroys people’s sanity. It shows how hard recovery can be and how strong dependency gets. I think the movie and the story as a whole is such a way of showing how complex love can be in every sense, and even more when extremely deep challenges like this are thrown at us. 

Were I to sum up the whole film in a phrase it would be “Devastatingly brilliant, deep and hopeful”. I recommend you watch this film because it seriously ticks all the right boxes.

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