Beautiful Boy: A Film About Overcoming Addiction.


Shelby Dwyer, Reporter

Directed and written by Felix Van Groeningen and co-written by Luke Davies, Beautiful Boy is a movie not worth missing. The 2018 film starring uprising actor Timothée Chalamet and well-known actor Steve Carell portrays the real life story of Nic Sheff and his father David whilst Nic goes through episodes of relapsing from a horrendous drug addiction. Chalamet plays as Nic, a teenager who has been drinking alcohol since he was twelve years old, experimenting with drugs, and the worst of all he has fallen into a dark hole with methamphetamines. David, Nic’s father, is portrayed by Carell; David simply wants to understand Nic’s addiction, and throughout the movie you learn that David pushed himself to the ultimate edge to help Nic. In this truly outstanding film, Chalamet and Carell work together beautifully, making their bond as father and son seems so surreal.

Beautiful Boy was based on the memoirs that both Nic and David Sheff wrote; one called Tweak from Nic’s viewpoint, and the other called Beautiful Boy by David. Whilst going in to see the movie, I didn’t know what to expect, but the outcome had me in tears and leaving the film with a new perspective on people who are battling addiction. The movie is directed in such a way that you become fully enveloped within the film; you do not have a single doubt about whether or not the movie is fabricated. The movie seems so life-like and has been filmed to perfectly capture everything Nic goes through. From starting his use of methamphetamines, to relapsing, to becoming clean, to relapsing over and over again. Chalamet’s strong acting creates the image of an addicted teenager transitioning into an addicted young-adult full of loss and angst. Carrel’s acting shows how a father can truly care and worry about his child even though his child can be lost within their own mind. The other actors within the movie show that Nic had a seemingly perfect life; they show the audience that although your life and family can be picturesque or functional, that you can still have problems such as addiction. All David Sheff ever wanted to know was why his son was so addicted, and why Nic could never seem to beat the methamphetamines.

This film not only portrays a father and son bond and the hardships of drug addiction, but it also shows the grit and struggle that one going through addiction can have. Chalamet had perfectly portrayed Nic Sheff, and I believe that he was the only actor that could pull off the role. Previously starring in the film Call Me By Your Name, Chalamet gained popularity when that movie took off in 2017 and won several awards; Chalamet winning “Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead” due to his outstanding performance in the love film. Call Me By Your Name as well gave Chalamet the opportunity to win an Oscar and expand his image and talent within the world of film. Chalamet’s portrayal of Nic Sheff gains the audience’s hearts and had left me wanting to learn more.

By the end of the film, you feel as if you had lived through all of Nic Sheff’s life: through his childhood, his start of the drug abuse, his relapses, his struggles, everything. The audience gets to see the beauty in the struggle of overcoming the addiction of methamphetamines; the audience gets to see the world of Nic Sheff and his father all while their world seemingly never stops revolving around them.

Throughout all of the hardships and beauty of Beautiful Boy, the film shows society that an addiction isn’t the end-all for a happy, successful life. Addiction can destroy you from the inside out, yet it can be defeated with effort and persistence. This film changed my perspective on everything in the world of people overcoming addiction; Beautiful Boy is a beautiful film that will touch your heart and open your eyes to a whole new world.