It is inevitable that a movie like Beautiful Boy has been made about the very severe Opioid and drug addiction crisis on this country. This movie was painful to watch, not only because of the main character played very well by Timothée Chalamet who has an extremely severe drug problem – but also for what his addiction puts his father through, played by Steve Carrel in probably his best dramatic role. Carrel plays a dedicated and outstanding father who has been devoted to his son throughout his whole life and despite all of this can not save him from a devastating drug addiction. The message here is that even if you are a perfect parent, you still cannot be so perfect to protect your child from so many bad influences. People do not live in a vacuum.
The other message of this story is that you cannot help anyone who does not want to help themselves. An addiction can be fought by anyone who goes to rehab and follows a defined process, refined through years of research and trial and error. A person in rehab has to realize that their success is life and death and in the long run of hard years of treatment and relapses – up to them. Anyone going through something like this eventually has to care more about themselves and their family than the drugs that give them a temporary escape from a reality that they can no longer tolerate. The difference between a disease like this and cancer is that a person does have a fighting chance to help themselves but they have to want this more than the drugs. This is what makes a story like this so difficult to watch, when you know that so many in this country have died from the epidemic of Opioid and drug addition.
This film is good enough to be nominated for a best picture Oscar along with Steve Carrell and Timothée Chalamet as best actor or supporting actor roles. Beautiful Boy gets my highest recommendation.