By Ian Crow

As 2018 comes to a close, 2019 is waiting to unleash its batch of films and hoping to improve on the mediocrity of the year before.  One of the first films of 2019 that I have been fortunate to see is ‘Beautiful Boy’. Based on the memoirs of David and Nic Sheff, it tells the true story of father and son as they both struggle to cope with Nic’s (son) drug addiction. The story chronicles both of their lives from Nic’s childhood, his time at college and his substance misuse struggles. On the flip side, we are given David’s point of view as he struggles to understand how to support Nic properly whilst also trying to raise his family.

Going into the film the only familiarity I had had with it was the cast members; I was not aware of the plot, the storyline or any other details about the film. This meant being left unaware, blindly led into the black hole that is the dangers and effects of substance misuse, on the direct parties involved (Nic and his family) but also the indirect effects (on families external relationships for example). Deeply disturbed by the statistics and facts on Crystal Meth addiction the film had a very realistic and heart-wrenching effect on audience members. Watching not only drug addiction work its way into the veins of its victims but also into the family dynamic, deteriorating what was once a cohesive unit. In a sense the film did what was intended, it scared people away from the idea of drug use.

Even though the film itself was a hard, emotional watch, being able to see the young superstar that is Timothee Chalamet continue to shine was an honour to watch. His raw talent at such a young age is a rare one and one I’m enjoying to watch. Quickly becoming one of my favourite actors to watch, Chalamet displays emotions on both ends of the spectrum with such fluidity and ease that his performance is brought to life, displaying a true reflection of his characters struggles. so easily that it’s almost annoying that he manages it so well. With this performance it’s hard not to wait in eager anticipation for the next fix of Chalamet over the many years to come in his acting career. His performance in the film makes me excited to see what he will produce in the many years to come in his acting career. Alongside Chalamet, Steve Carrell continues an impressive couple of years of solid acting performances. Carrell perfectly resonates the emotions and insecurities that David is experiencing throughout his son’s troublesome life. Finely balancing the serious and the comedic, Carrell is at the best of times moving and wonderfully charismatic.

Even though 2019 hasn’t arrived, I’m already excited by the prospect of it. ‘Beautiful Boy’ has already set the bar extremely high and I am looking forward to seeing if anything else can provide a quality piece able to top it.

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