“Beautiful Boy” offers sharp insight on the effects of early-life addiction


Photo Credit: instagram.com/tchalametcn

Nic (Chalamet) sharing a vulnerable moment with his father David (Carell).

Isadora Troncoso, Photography Editor

Heartbreaking. Frightening. Real. Directed by Felix Van Groeningen and produced by Brad Pitt, “Beautiful Boy” brings out the utmost best out of veteran Steve Carell and newcomer Timothée Chalamet. While this isn’t Carell’s first take on a dramatic role (see previous roles in “Foxcatcher” and “Freeheld”) the scene stealer is, without a doubt, Chalamet,  who was a pleasant surprise at last year’s coming-of-age “Call Me by Your Name.”

This feature was based on two memoirs written by both David and Nic Sheff portrayed by Carell and Chalamet respectively. The story follows the downward spiral of teen Nic Sheff battling meth addiction and how it affects his entire family.

Unlike most addiction features where the plot centers around its victim, “Beautiful Boy” focuses more on how each family member – particularly Nic’s father, David – deals with it. Though at times slightly repetitive, the plot stays true to the constant destruction addiction causes its victims.

By alternating flashback scenes with present ones, the audience is left in an erratic state of optimism and despair; one moment there is a younger Nic with such a bright future ahead, and in the blink of an eye, there he is laying on a public bathroom floor after going down the same dark road once again.

“Beautiful Boy” reveals that the road to sobriety is as equally dangerous as addiction itself and that it might lead to extreme frustration and eventually the utter loss of hope. This movie also reveals how no one can really save one another; it is up to each individual to want to get better.