Beautiful Boy is directed by Felix van Groeningen and stars Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet as a father works to cope with his son's ongoing drug addiction through a series of relapses and recoveries. This is a movie that recieved a fair amount of Oscar buzz before it's release, then that died down after it came out, and after seeing it myself, I can completely understand why. This film is not very good. It bolsters itself up as a prestige awards caliber film, but doesn't put enough work into the direction and more notably, the performances. .
This is a film that feels heavily brought down, and I don't say this a lot, by bad performances on both Carell and Chalamet's end. They thought they were making something emotionally profound and I just couldn't connect to anything these actors and performances brought to the table. I know this is rooted in real life and real situations that occur everyday in America, but it all just felt so heavy handed. None of these characters felt real. And it also didn't help that Steve and Timothee had almost zero chemistry. Every emotional moment they had with each other felt like watching paint dry, it was so devoid of feeling. Carell, who I know can pull off a dramatic role, just felt ridiculous here. Everytime he raised his voice and started yelling, for an emotional response, I just heard Brick from "Anchorman" screaming "LOUD NOISES!" Just absurd. When Chalamet was on screen, it just felt like he was trying to win the Oscar. I guess he played an ok and believable addict, but I just didn't buy it. The music in this film also sticks out like a sore thumb and is just awful. They play these up beat Alt rock songs during dramatic moments and it just feels so awkward. .
There are a few positives here. I think the story is compelling and well told. The cinematography is gorgeous. And I actually thought Maury Tierney delivered a really good performance as Carell's wife and stepmom to Chalamet. Best of the film. But when you have a movie so heavily dependent on two leads that, in my opinion, do not deliver, then your film is a failure.
SCORE - 5.75/10