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Beautiful Boy


Stars: Steve Carell, Timothee Chalamet, Moira Tierney, Amy Ryan, Oakley Bull, Christian Convery, Kaitlin Dever, Timothy Hutton, Amy Forsyth

Director: Felix van Groeningen

This massively depressing if, in parts, powerfully persuasive true story of teenage drug addiction flipflops between periods in the boy's life so much that I must confess to giving up on the timeline completely.

But, as we open, Nic (Chalamet) has been missing for two days, and his distraught father David (Carell in serious mode) agonises over whether or not to call the authorities.

It's one more nightmare for this loving parent over the years of his son's addiction to pretty much every kind of known drug. 'It takes the edge off reality,' explains Nic, justifying his use of crystal meth, his latest experiment.

Intensely well acted by Chalamet, Carell and Tierney, as David's second wife, this is not an easy watch and at times seems about three hours long. Nic enters rehab, relapses, tries again, and, graduating from college, is 'sober' for 14 months before falling off the wagon again, in a film that seems about to end around three times before it finally does. You cannot, however, fault its sincere good intentions.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: Studio Canal. Colour by efilm.
122 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 3, Swearing 3.

Review date: 13 Jan 2019