It’s hard to make a good film about drug addiction, because it’s hard to portray drug addiction honestly without turning your movie into a finger-wagging cautionary tale. Even the best films to tackle the subject sometimes carry a streak of the old Reefer Madness scare tactics, and Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy, even though it features some truly incredible performances, is no exception.
Beautiful Boy tells the story of David Sheff (Steve Carell) and his teenage son Nic (Timotheé Chalament), who becomes addicted to a series of dangerous drugs, including crystal meth and heroin. The way David saw it, their their lives were relatively perfect: they’re affluent, they have a loving household, and yet Nic’s seemingly conventional teen ennui led to one experimentation after another, and now he’s disappearing for days on end, and he’s an emotional train wreck whenever he does come home.
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