Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 2hr
The story of a father, David Sheff (Steve Carrell) desperate to help his son Nic (Timothée Chalamet), and tortured by the idea that he could be to blame.
David had a life that many would envy: a beautiful older teenage son; two young children from his happy second marriage; to artist Karen (Maura Tierney); a house near the north Carolina coast and notable success as a journalist, with major publications like The New York Times and Rolling Stone.
Without warning, his son Nic becomes withdrawn from the family. By the time David realises what’s happening, Nic is hooked on crystal meth.
Making his English-language debut, Belgian director Felix van Groeningen (2012’s Broken Circle Breakdown) is no stranger to melancholic material. He deftly deals with David struggling with happier memories, and attempting to piece together what went wrong, with Nic in and out of rehab and unravelling fast.
The screenplay was developed by the real-life Sheff’s memoir, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction, and also leant on Nic Sheff’s Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines.
Chalamet’s portrayal of vulnerability, fear, aggression and desperation is masterful, a tragic young man who is convinced happiness requires intoxication.