Beautiful Boy

Amazon/Plan B (2018) 120 min. R 

Director: Felix Van Groeningen 

Screenplay: Luke Davies & Felix Van Groeningen based on Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff & Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff

Cinematography: Ruben Impens; Editing: Nico Leunen; Production Design: Ethan Tobman; Art Direction: Patrick M. Sullivan Jr.; Costumes: Emma Potter

Stars: Steve Carell (David Sheff), Timothée Chalamet (Nic Sheff), Maura Tierney (Karen Barbour), Amy Ryan (Vicki Sheff), Kaitlyn Dever (Lauren), Andre Royo (Spencer), Stefanie Scott (Julia), Amy Forsythe (Diane), Jack Dylan Grazer (Nic Scheff at 12), Timothy Hutton (Dr. Brown)

Critical response to it has ranged from lukewarm to rapturous, and there were high hopes built into Beautiful Boy prior to release. It seemed like surefire stuff. The story was timely, given the ongoing controversy concerning the nation’s opioid epidemic, and it was expected to be a major Oscar player during awards season. But despite respectable reviews, it has hit theaters with little fanfare, doing only modest business.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Call Me by Your Name

Sony Pictures Classics (2017) 132 min. R

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Screenplay: James Ivory; Based on the novel by André Aciman

Cinematography: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom; Editing: Walter Fasano

Production Design: Samuel Deshors; Art Direction: Roberta Federico; Set Decoration: Muriel Chinal, Sandro Piccarozzi & Violante Visconti di Modrone; Costumes: Giulia Piersanti

Stars: Timothée Chalamet (Elio Perlman), Armie Hammer (Oliver), Michael Stuhlbarg (Samuel Perlman), Amira Casar (Annella Perlman), Esther Garrel (Marzia), Victoire Du Bois (Chiara), Vanda Capriolo (Mafalda), Antonio Rimoldi (Anchise), André Aciman (Mounir), Peter Spears (Isaac)

Summer of love films set in sunny, foreign locales have been a hallmark of coming-of-age cinema for so long, at least as far back as movies like Three Coins in the Fountain, Roman Holiday, Summertime, Holiday for Lovers, and relatively more recent titles like A Little Romance, Enchanted April, Stealing Beauty, Under the Tuscan Sun, A Good Year, Mamma Mia! and Eat, Pray, Love, they’ve become somewhat passé. So much so that these stick a pin in the map movies now feel like displaced, modern descendants of E.M. Forster and Henry James. Americans abroad entries of more integrity, like The Talented Mr. Ripley, had to twist variations out of the theme in order to pull off the same premise.

Continue reading