The story of Dick Cheney, an unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider, who quietly wielded immense power as Vice President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.
In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
Follows the charming yet troubled Ben Burns (Hedges), who returns home to his unsuspecting family one fateful Christmas Eve. Ben's wary mother Holly Burns (Roberts) welcomes her beloved son's return, but soon learns he is still very much in harm's way. During the 24 hours that may change their lives forever, Holly must do everything in her power to avoid the family's downfall.
Lucas Hedges had a wonderful start of a career. Attractive, and born to rich, Hollywood connected parents, he was given opportunities to star in some really great films, and he did well in them. Lately, however, he seems in over his head. His acting in Ben is Back and Boy Erased was just not believable. I am concerned he is turning into the next Jaden Smith with his parents giving him more than he is ready for, and him thinking he deserves it all and more.
The writing and direction by Lucas' dad was pretty weak.
Julia Roberts married to a domineering black man, and driving her son around to drug dens? Get serious people.
Lucas willing to kill himself to rectify a drug dealer family dog-napping situation? Yes, you read that right.
Crime bosses that look like they could get beaten up by the residents of your local nursing home, who plot revenge for unpaid balances of less than $1,000 and yet are very sentimental and family oriented (refusing to except family jewelry for payment because it is just too special)?
A serial addict over-dosing on one hit?
Women walking up to Lucas and saying "you're hot!"? Knowing that this was written by his dad, that is one proud papa, not to mention slightly creepy.
Gay sex for drugs with your high-school teacher? If you want to go for shocking, you have to at least try to be original.
It goes on and on.
I was hoping for a great independent film about addiction, but this is not it. If you want to see that, watch Requiem for a Dream. It is everything this movie is not. Another option, but not as epic as Requiem, would be Beautiful Boy. I like Lucas, but Lucas Hedges v. Timothée Chalamet is no contest. It is an interesting comparison in that Lucas and his dad are trying desperately to get Lucas on the same career trajectory as Timothee (i.e., Timothee does Call me By Your Name and Lucas follows with Boy Erased, Timothee does Beautiful Boy and Lucas follows with Ben is Back). However, whereas Timothee always shocks with a mind-blowingly convincing performance, Lucas is just pretty good. Lucas really needs to find himself, be a little more humble, rely less on family connections, and stop chasing others.
All that said, I enjoyed the movie. Mainly because I find it fascinating to see what happens when you write a movie for your son. Just wait for it to be released on cable and realize it is grade B at best.
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