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Beautiful Boy (2018)

Drama | 120 minutes
3,72 740 votes

Genre: Drama / Biography

Duration: 120 minuten

Country: United States

Directed by: Felix van Groeningen

Stars: Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet and Maura Tierney

IMDb score: 7,4 (96.533)

Releasedate: 12 October 2018

Beautiful Boy plot

"A true story of addiction, survival and family."

Journalist David Sheff lives with Karen with whom he has two children. And he maintains a close relationship with his son Nic from his marriage to Vicki. His life comes crashing down when he discovers that Nic is struggling with a crystal meth addiction and he tries everything to save his son's life.

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avatar van Filmkriebel


  • 8891 messages
  • 4104 votes

To mourn the living, that's a hard way to live.

Van Groeningen, our national pride. I follow the positive majority. Excellent film, I have zero criticism for this one. This is not a movie with big moments, the whole movie is a big moment. The film sucks you illico presto into this sad tale of a father who goes to great lengths to help his son out of the drug hell. An honest and recognizable story in which the lying and cheating of those close to them feels much more painful than the drug addiction of its protagonist. Drugs are not associated with marginalization either, because Nic Sheff comes from a warm family and has a loving father. He is only much more prone to addictions, but there is also a hint of low self-esteem and a negative perception of life itself. Deep in the ending credits you get a little lecture from Bukowski on this. Carell and Chalamet do a great job and it is a film that makes you pause for a moment at the end. The music is dreamy and haunted against a background of mental distress. Although you always know where it's going during the movie, it all grabs you, like the scene where he takes a few dollars from his younger brother's piggy bank and then lies to his father . Excellent!

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avatar van Zinema

Zinema (crew films)

  • 10116 messages
  • 6880 votes

Sticky boy.

That Beautiful Boy takes a sweet and sour approach to drug addiction is apparent from the scene in which his son really wants to smoke a joint with his father. With Papa Carell all alarm bells go off in slow motion when the boy gives off his praise for drugs through too many questions and explanations. Sweet and sour, because the title is not Cold Turkey. Also Lennon, but a lot darker and to the point. You can already see the first references to a fatal sequel in the posters of addicted music heroes. Wonderful soundtrack too. Unbalanced but beautiful. From Bukowski to Perry Como and back again.

But so is the movie itself. Despite all the trumpet blast. Because sometimes a bit fragmentary, but above all aloof, the spectacle unfolds - realistically without a doubt - past the viewer. Visually strong and modest, but also a bit monotonous in terms of narration. Boring sometimes. As in haven't we even seen this before? We don't have that, by the way, because director Van Groeningen's approach can be called special. You could say, for example, that the distance is kept quite well for a personal drama, and that is not only due to the perspective of a father who is powerless in all respects.

The great thing, however, is that the film still sticks and contains a number of gems of scenes. The real sweetness is always avoided, but it never becomes bitter. Not even if the threat gets stronger towards the end. Of course, a story has to be told that is true and only for a moment do you suspect that it is all going to end badly. Just a little while, but enough. Carrell has a little smirk, Tierney is very distracting with a pout and Chalamet does a lot with his face but is someone to keep an eye on. A little bit of everything, but it does manage to stick.


Thanks to The Searchers for the review copy.

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avatar van Onderhond


  • 87186 messages
  • 11928 votes

Surprisingly good.

A non-American director who makes the switch to America is always anxious to wait. On the one hand whether he will be able to keep his own style, on the other hand whether he will mix with a culture that is something different. Felix succeeds in both.

I'm not Groeningen's biggest fan, but he is a nice director. The news that he wanted to make a fraught drug drama with Carell in the lead role was not really reassuring, so the beginning of the film is a bit difficult. The danger that it would become typical Oscar bait lurks all the time.

But after half an hour it turns out that van Groeningen is just doing his own thing again. The typical "spiral of tragedy" is neatly avoided, the focus of the film is more on the father than the addicted son and although quite dark and fraught, it also shows a lot of beauty.

Visually it is neat, acting is good, soundtrack is also remarkably nice. Here and there some too familiar choices indeed, but nice and eclectic and nicely in line with the scenes. Also some very strong scenes at the end, especially Carell who has to shuffle to support his son. The last thing you want as a father I guess.

Very effective drama that nicely makes its own nest within a fairly tried and tested genre. Perhaps it lacks some more moments that really stand out, or van Groeningen has to refine his own style a little more, but otherwise not much to criticize.


dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original