Bilingual Culture Magazine

Cinema Note -Beautiful Boy-

Text: Michika Kageyama
Edit: Yuka Shimayoshi

今回のCinema Noteは、ティモシー・シャラメがドラッグ依存患者を演じる『ビューティフル・ボーイ』を紹介。
Cinema Note this time recommends a film “Beautiful Boy”, in which Timothée Chalamet plays a drug addict.

  • by François Duhamel

  • JP
  • EN






by François Duhamel

4月12日(金)よりTOHOシネマズ シャンテ他にて全国公開
監督:フェリックス・ヴァン・ヒュルーニンゲン (『オーバー・ザ・ブルースカイ』アカデミー賞外国語映画賞ノミネート)
脚本:フェリックス・ヴァン・ヒュルーニンゲン/ルーク・デイヴィス(『LION/ライオン ~25年目のただいま~』)   
製作:PLAN B (『ムーンライト』『それでも夜は明ける』)  © 2018 AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC.

Based on the memoir “Beautiful Boy” by David Sheff and “Tweak” by his son, Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years. (cited from the official website)


The narrative of Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy is innovative in a way that it perceives drug addiction as a once-made-choice that has taken its toll; it neither denies the humanity of the addict to promote the dangers of addiction nor does it tolerate or romanticize the hurtful actions of the addict to encourage empathy to the audience. The film avoids these patterns that stories of addiction can often find themselves in by portraying its story from the perspectives of both Nic, the addict, and his family.

The reality of drug addiction in Beautiful Boy is much more dreadful than one may imagine. Nic, with his addiction taking over his mind, sees the passionate and artistic person he once was slip through his fingers. As apparent as it is to himself, his family too struggles having to see Nic fall, recover and relapse only to find himself stuck in the same cycle. This narrative may seem troubling to a society that some may be familiar with, a society that rushes to dehumanizing people once their drug addiction is exposed, while forgetting, and thus forgiving sexual abusers, political frauds or other cases that showcase the person’s abuse of power. However, this perhaps is where the significance of Beautiful Boy lies, it rejects the preconceived notion that drug addicts are immoral and heartless. It does this by depicting Nic’s internal struggles without justifying his choices. The film is forgiving but not tolerating, and projects hope for the future.

It comes without saying that drug addiction is indeed “bad”. Not only does it take over your mind, the production of drugs, such as those depicted in the film, is supported by illegal groups that disturb peace and promote violence especially in developing countries. What we can hope for is that watching Beautiful Boy will be an enlightening experience for the audience and that it serves as meaningful material to discuss the issues of drug distribution and abuse.

by François Duhamel

Beautiful Boy
Release nationwide in Japan on the 12th April at TOHO Cinemas Chanter and more.
Director: Felix van Groeningen  
Write: Felix van Groeningen , Luke Davies   
Stars: Steve Carell,   
Presentation (in Japan): Phantom Film/Culture Publishers/The Asahi Shimbun   
Distribution (in Japan): Phantom Film
【2018/the US/120mins/R-15】