Beautiful Boy (2019) – Dir Felix van Groeningen

This was a bit of a double bill for me alongside Boy Erased. Another true story, this time based on the memoirs of father and son David and Nic Sheff. Starring Steve Carell (The Big Short, Anchorman 2), Maura Tierney (ER) and Timothy Chalamet (Call Me By YourName) this is the story of a boys battle with drugs (primarily Crystal Meth) and his fathers attempt to “save” him.


This film differs from others about drug addiction as it is mainly told from the perspective of the father. This has led to some criticism of the film in that it is about a privileged family dealing with drug abuse while ignoring how drugs affect those who have no support at all. This is a valid criticism but I think the point of the film is very much to tell the fathers side (and so its less gritty and relevant to young people who may be experiencing these situations). Also, the point is that no one is safe from this epidemic sweeping across America and many other countries.

Steve Carell continues to show what a great serious actor he can be and Timothy Chalamet also enhances his growing reputation.

I accept the shortcomings of the film (including a terrible scene involving the discovery of a journal) but I did connect as a forty-something father (thankfully my daughter has just started school) who would be terrified to have to try and deal with the grip that these drugs have. The film does not portray a happy ending where with great support and determination the drugs go away. Unfortunately, with drugs such as Crystal Meth, there is no easy escape (if there is one at all).

Rating – 7/10

Should you go to see it – probably worth a watch at home. Be warned if you are a parent as its a frightening scenario.

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