Cambridge Film Festival – ‘Beautiful Boy’ Review

**Contains Spoilers!**

Tears, heartbreak, love – three occurring themes throughout Beautiful Boy that make this film so empowering and tear-jerking that it is one of the best films I have seen this year.

Produced by Brad Pitt under his production company, Plan B Entertainment, Steve Carrell (David) and Timothée Chalamet (Nic) star as the main characters. The film is based on the novel Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction. Carrell and Chalamet both play excellent parts as we see a father (Carrell) struggle with his relationship with his son (Chalamet) as he deals with a crippling drug addiction, starting from when he turned eighteen years old.

The film lasts two hours, seeing Nic tackling his drug addiction through a non-linear narrative, exposing us to how his addiction to drugs started and the struggle David goes through to get his son back. David is a freelance journalist, writing for magazines such as
Rolling Stone as we see in the film. He pitches an article idea to his boss which is personal to him, sharing the story of Nic and how he lost his son mentally through his use of drugs.

We go back and forth in time, seeing elements of both Nic and David’s lives that piece together the impact of Nic’s life and how he turned to the use of drugs such as crystal meth, weed and LSD. The non-linear narrative works amazingly as viewers are able to view the struggles that drug addicts go through: recovery, relapse and rehab. Through flashbacks from the past, we can see the struggles Nic repeatedly goes through in his attempt to stay clean.

I love the use of music in the film too. Music adds such an emotional impact to certain scenes throughout that really make viewers feel what the characters are going through.

I cannot recommend this film enough, it really opens your eyes to what struggles, pain and emotions drug users and their relatives go through on a day-to-day basis. All I can say is get your tissues at the ready! (Be prepared for seeing the use of needles a lot too.)

Written by Eliza Rawson