News

Beautiful Boy First Reviews: An Authentic, Powerfully Acted Portrait of Addiction

The first review from Toronto say this true-story drama is a difficult watch, but full of top-notch performances.

by | September 8, 2018 | Comments

Word out of the Toronto Film Festival is that Timothée Chalamet could be looking at his second Oscar nomination in a row. This time the young actor is portraying a real-life addict, while Steve Carell plays his father in a performance that’s also mostly receiving praise. As for the movie around this stellar acting, Beautiful Boy is currently Fresh at 82% with just 11 reviews, and it sounds like a powerful and upsetting drama that will affect much of its audience, but it may not garner much additional awards attention outside of the acting.

Check out what the first round of critics are saying:


How powerful is Beautiful Boy?

Scrupulous and tenderly wounding — a drama that seizes and holds you. It’s a compelling movie whether or not it happens to speak to you personally.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety

In doggedly aiming to portray this unbearable pain with rare authenticity, it has a raw, haunting power.
Benjamin Lee, Guardian

[It’s] one of the most essential films that could exist right now.
Matt Goldberg, Collider


Is it an overwhelming experience?

It’s all too much sometimes, but it’s an undeniably wrenching journey.
– Steve Pond, The Wrap

Almost too much like real life: an impressionistic series of highs and lows, relapses and recoveries, without the necessary anchor of a cohesive arc.
– Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

To Van Groeningen’s great credit, he doesn’t simply make Beautiful Boy a nonstop parade of tragedy. This isn’t Requiem for a Dream.
– Matt Goldberg, Collider


Amazon Studios
(Photo by Amazon Studios)

What about Chalamet’s performance?

[He] so embodies the tragic struggles of a drug-addled young man it’s a wonder he made it through the production.
Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Fantastic… I wouldn’t be surprised to see him nab a best supporting actor nomination.
– Benjamin Lee, Guardian

His performance feels both exquisitely calibrated and utterly lived in; alternately sweet and addled, furious and catatonic.
– Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

He continues to be one of the most exciting young actors working today.
– Matt Goldberg, Collider


And Carell’s performance?

A marvelously sensitive, largely quiet tour de force.
– Steve Pond, The Wrap

Carell’s acting is urgent, imploring, silently haunted.
– Owen Gleiberman, Variety

The role makes sublime use of Carell’s unshakable likability – you feel his desperation, and his desire to make this into something he can control.
– Jason Bailey, The Playlist

[Makes] the best of a rather underdeveloped role.
– Jordan Ruimy, World of Reel

Carell puts his everyman talents to their best use.
– Matt Goldberg, Collider

Carell feels out of his depth. In quieter scenes, he’s serviceable but when conflict arises, he’s rather shrill and ineffective.
– Benjamin Lee, Guardian


Amazon Studios
(Photo by Amazon Studios)

Does the rest of the cast measure up?

Amy Ryan plays David’s ex-wife and Nic’s mother, Vicki, with a concerned testiness that results in frequent clashes, and Maura Tierney plays Karen, his second wife (they have two younger children), with a gravity that roots every scene she’s in.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety

Amy Ryan and the supporting players are all top-notch.
Jason Bailey, The Playlist


What are the movie’s problems?

The emotional rollercoaster ride is only observed, never felt.
– Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

[It] wallows in grief with a borderline sadistic intensity. With lesser performances, it would crumble under the manipulative weight of unearned gravitas.
– Eric Kohn, IndieWire

It’s hard to imagine the movie, based on both Sheffs’ memoirs, working at all without Chalamet.
– Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

Its emotions felt hardly earned.
– Jordan Ruimy, World of Reel

The movie lacks a certain emotional electricity.
– Owen Gleiberman, Variety


Try to stick through it, though:

If one stays with it all the way to the end, it is absolutely worth sitting still for the end credits.
– Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter


Beautiful Boy premiered on Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it opens in limited release on Friday, October 12. Read all the reviews for it here.

#1

Beautiful Boy (2018)
65%

#1
Adjusted Score: 69.811%
Critics Consensus: Beautiful Boy sees Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell delivering showcase work that's often powerful enough to make up for the story's muted emotional impact.
Synopsis: Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking... [More]
Directed By: Felix Van Groeningen

Tag Cloud

BET Interview spy thriller Comedy Central AMC ABC Teen PBS Box Office TLC travel Marvel 2015 Character Guide YouTube Premium MTV IFC Films Schedule Crackle DC streaming service Britbox Logo GLAAD Universal Syfy LGBTQ cats doctor who dc diversity crime thriller NYCC Ovation Emmys Spike anime Paramount Network YouTube Red dceu Disney Fall TV Columbia Pictures Martial Arts BBC America ESPN Fox News Comedy serial killer zombie San Diego Comic-Con Awards blaxploitation adventure Epix TNT See It Skip It Opinion VH1 Writers Guild of America 20th Century Fox CNN Extras Food Network Trivia Esquire Sci-Fi Animation Grammys ITV comiccon A&E cops Premiere Dates Video Games Hulu Cosplay Song of Ice and Fire CMT aliens Pixar SDCC justice league Valentine's Day politics romance BBC MSNBC Election social media supernatural zombies Acorn TV Rom-Com Amazon Pop Adult Swim Nat Geo Mary Tyler Moore RT History Mystery Country medical drama boxoffice Warner Bros. Sneak Peek SundanceTV Freeform Sony Pictures harry potter NBC SXSW Star Trek discovery cooking Holidays Winners Walt Disney Pictures Starz Tumblr Dark Horse Comics X-Men based on movie Rock PaleyFest GoT CW Seed Showtime DC Universe Lifetime Shondaland E! police drama TIFF ABC Family Infographic Toys Biopics WGN Disney Channel Masterpiece cinemax Star Wars APB Ghostbusters OWN History Winter TV Netflix Christmas Horror historical drama sports DC Comics Polls and Games binge Super Bowl ratings 21st Century Fox Mindy Kaling Nickelodeon Countdown GIFs festivals Fantasy Nominations TV TV Land Summer Creative Arts Emmys robots Thanksgiving singing competition 007 sitcom FXX TCM vampires TCA Set visit cults crossover TBS biography HBO 45 National Geographic The CW Red Carpet IFC Kids & Family Trailer Podcast Superheroe CBS All Access docudrama Sundance Spring TV crime drama FOX Sundance Now Reality Competition DirecTV Action period drama Drama dramedy YA American Society of Cinematographers Music transformers composers Apple Certified Fresh Year in Review Lionsgate 2017 Marathons Watching Series CBS unscripted E3 talk show golden globes Paramount crime The Arrangement Bravo Best and Worst technology political drama Ellie Kemper FX USA Network Musical TruTV mutant TCA 2017 Lucasfilm VICE Pirates hist war finale what to watch Calendar Tomatazos science fiction Comics on TV Musicals 2016 Photos First Look 24 frames Reality Shudder Western New York Comic Con Comic Book Oscars Rocky Superheroes streaming El Rey thriller Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt psycho Cartoon Network USA jamie lee curtis President