Headline Gala

Beautiful Boy

Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet give blistering performances as a father and son in this gripping story of a family dealing with addiction over many years.

Dir Felix van Groeningen
Prod Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner
Scr Luke Davies, Felix van Groeningen
With Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan
UK Distribution Studiocanal

David Sheff (Carell) has a life many would envy: a beautiful older teenage son Nic (Chalamet) to whom he is close; two younger children from his happy second marriage to artist Karen (Maura Tierney), a loving stepmother to his first son; a house near the north California coast; and notable success as a journalist with major publications like The New York Times and Rolling Stone. Life is good. An open, communicative father, he isn’t too alarmed when Nic casually experiments with marijuana. Then, without warning, Nic’s interest in drugs transforms, becoming more urgent, desperate even. The boy who loved books, music, surfing and his family is withdrawn, agitated, mercurial and dishonest. By the time David realises what’s happening, Nic is hooked on crystal meth. Screenwriters Luke Davies (Lion) and Felix van Groeningen adapts two memoirs (Tweak by Nic and David’s Beautiful Boy) into a powerful and moving account of a father and son’s struggle with addiction and its tragic consequences. Making his English-language debut, Felix van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgica) directs with soulful restraint, allowing Ruben Impens’ (Raw) camera to capture with startling intimacy Carell and Chalamet’s visceral performances, which blaze at the heart of this intelligent, tough and inspiring film.

Tricia Tuttle

The screenings on Sat 13 Oct at Cineworld Leicester Square and Sun 14 Oct at Embankment Garden Cinema have an audio-description soundtrack for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. Headphones are available on request at the venue.

The screening on Tue 16 Oct has English language subtitles, including descriptions of non-dialogue audio, for customers who are D/deaf or hard of hearing.