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Beautiful Boy (2018)

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Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.

Writers:

Luke Davies (screenplay by), Felix van Groeningen (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
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23 ( 53)

Timothée Chalamet: Golden Globe Nominee

Timothée Chalamet scored a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. We caught up with him and his Beautiful Boy costars at TIFF.

Watch our interview with Timothée at TIFF

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Carell ... David Sheff
Timothée Chalamet ... Nic Sheff
Maura Tierney ... Karen Barbour
Christian Convery ... Jasper Sheff
Oakley Bull ... Daisy Sheff
Kaitlyn Dever ... Lauren
Amy Ryan ... Vicki Sheff
Stefanie Scott ... Julia
Julian Works ... Gack
Kue Lawrence ... 4 & 6-Year-Old Nic Sheff
Jack Dylan Grazer ... 12-Year-Old NicSheff
Ricky Low ... Destiny
Marypat Farrell ... Julia's Mother
Amy Forsyth ... Diane
Andre Royo ... Spencer
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Storyline

Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the Acclaimed Memoirs of David Sheff and Nic Sheff See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug content throughout, language, and brief sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 2018 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Beautiful Boy See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$218,888, 14 October 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,622,907, 13 January 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first scenes shot for the film were the most intense, according to Van Groeningen, and involved Chalamet's character being hospitalized for a drug-overdose. Chalamet was instructed to lose weight a couple weeks before the filming of the "hospitalization scenes", and subsequently rested to recover in order to complete the rest of the shoot. Chalamet has stated that there were numerous "doctor visits" and "close calls" during the shoot, saying "Your mind knows you're acting. But when you drop twenty pounds and you are under a rain machine for eight takes in a T-shirt, your body doesn't know you're acting." See more »

Goofs

When Nic is arranging his CDs, the amount of CDs in each of the four columns changes numerous times between shots. See more »

Quotes

David Sheff: I thought we were close. I thought we were closer than most fathers and sons! Why?
Nic Sheff: I felt better than I ever had, so... I just kept on doing it.
David Sheff: This isn't us! This is not who we are!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, Nic is heard reciting the poem "Let It Enfold You" by Charles Bukowski. See more »

Connections

References Star Trek (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Treasure
Written and Performed by Sampha
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Trying to climb a slippery pole.
13 December 2018 | by bob-the-movie-manSee all my reviews

As John Lennon's lyrics go:

"'Cause it's a long way to go, A hard row to hoe Yes, it's a long way to go"

And so it proves for young Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet). For - based on a true story - Nic has progressively worked through the encyclopaedia of drugs until he has arrived at "C for Crystal Meth" where he is working through a recurring nightmare of addiction and attempted rehab.

What's harder... being the victim of drugs or being the caring onlookers desperately hoping that this attempt to climb the slippery pole to recovery will be a successful one? This is reflected as a key aspect of the film, and as a parent it makes for a very hard watch. The 'caring onlookers' in this case are Nic's father David (Steve Carell), his girlfriend Karen Barbour (Maura Tierney), the couple's natural children Jasper (Christian Convery) and Daisy (Oakley Bull), and David's ex-wife and Nic's mother Vicki (Amy Ryan).

This is only the 2nd English-language film from director Felix van Groeningen (after 2012's " The Broken Circle Breakdown") and the film has its fair share of impressive directorial flourishes such that Felix might need to get added to that elusive list of "famous Belgians"! Not least among them is the use of flashbacks. The film starts with a 12 month flashback, but then throughout the story David flashes back to scenes of his boy's childhood. Many of these reflect the regret in perhaps failing to identify ways he could have done things differently to avoid the current crisis.

While many of these flashbacks are sudden and unexpected, I didn't find them confusing to follow although I can see how they might annoy some viewers who prefer a more 'linear' storytelling approach.

Above all, it is the acting performances that make this film, and the four key cast members all turn in memorable turns. It's excruciating watching Carell's parental anguish and then (like a blast of light) his realization of a truth he'd been avoiding for a long time. It's Chalamet though who truly shines, delivering fully on the realization of the tortured and self-torturing Nic. Already nominated for a Golden Globe, I would have thought another Oscar nomination is assured for this. ER's Maura Tierney also excels in a quieter supporting role: something that generally seems to be her niche at the movies.

This is most definitely a gruelling movie from beginning to end - especially for parents of young teens - and as such it feels a lot longer than it's 2 hour running time suggests. But it is well worth the effort. A drama that really delivers on its message: "just say no". It rather frustrates me that the film is a UK 15 certificate. Not that I'm criticising the BBFC here, since with graphic drug taking, a lot of choice language and one (not overly graphic) sex scene, the rating is appropriate. However this would seem to me to be required viewing by every 13 year old, since if Chalomet's performance can't drill the message home to not climb onto that pole in the first place, then noone can.

(For the full graphical review, please check out One Mann's Movies on the web and Facebook. Thanks).


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