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Beautiful Boy

by

Jeff Nelson

Beautiful Boy offers an interesting point-of-view on the horrid event

Beautiful Boy
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Unfortunately, the happenings occurring in Beautiful Boy are all too real. These school shootings have affected the lives of many. Filmmakers often attempt to capture emotions surrounding current events in order to retrieve a better reaction from the audience. There have been quite a few movies that deal with parents coping with the loss of their child. Beautiful Boy takes a different perspective on this tragic event.

Bill Carroll is contemplating separating from his wife, Kate, when the unimaginable happens. Their 18-year-old son, Sam, commits mass murder at his university before killing himself. While coping with their grief, Bill and Kate must deal with the media, other parents furious at them for Sam's actions, and questioning themselves. The parents of the victims are torn apart,but just try to imagine what it'd be like to be the parent of the kid who committed the murders. Not only are they dealing with the loss of Sam, but also his actions. For those who haven't guessed it, this is a flat-out drama. In fact, the plot can only truly play out in one extremely foreseeable way. However, the filmmakers embrace it proudly. Even though Beautiful Boy never becomes dull, the screenplay is typical. The movie is an emotional roller coaster and is certainly draining on the viewer. If you're known to shed tears during tearjerkers, then you may want to have a box of tissues at your side. The screenplay is successful in gaining a great amount of sympathy for the two main characters. Viewers will constantly want everything to work out for the couple, but we feel bad for them as we watch them unravel. The perspective is good, the script is average, but the characters are strong.

To top it all off, Beautiful Boy features an outstanding cast. Michael Sheen is absolutely marvelous as Bill Carroll. He is a father who wants to block out the thoughts and refuses to come to turns with what his son has done and the pain he has caused. Sheen delivers a great deal of depth to the character and really brings him to life. He genuinely shines especially during the second half of the film as he breaks down. Maria Bello performs as Kate. She mirrors Michael Sheen very well. She wants to come to terms with what has happened more than her husband. Both actors are fantastic from start to finish and absolutely convincing.

Beautiful Boy proves to be a powerful piece of cinema that has superb acting. Even though there are numerous positives, the cliché nature of the film is the reason for me taking stars away. Audiences are sure to split on this one, but nobody can deny the compelling performances. The film offers an interesting point-of-view on the horrid event. Beautiful Boy is worth checking out, but opinions will unquestionably vary.

My Rating = Three and One Half Stars

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