We know him for his Directors’ Fortnight preemed The Misfortunates (2009) (and the publicity stunt on the Croisette as well), and international audiences discovered him via the Oscar nominated for Best Foreign Language Film The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012), but Sundance crowds got up close and personal with the Belgian helmer when he preemed Belgica (review) in 2016. The festival have had a hand in presenting fairly accurate addiction dramas (Half Nelson and I Smile Back) which makes this the ideal lieu for Felix van Groeningen‘s English language debut premiere. Fans of The Office might feel like they’re getting a raw deal if they come in with expectations for this reunion, as Steve Carell and Amy Ryan will likely appear to crumble in a million pieces in a project that once had Cameron Crowe attached to direct and Mark Wahlberg set to star. Adapted from not one, but two novels, filming on Beautiful Boy took place last March, and with Call Me By Your Name’s Timothée Chalamet in the mix, this Amazon Studios project will likely land Manchester by the Sea awards season type buzz.
Gist: Written by Luke Davies and Groeningen, this is based on David Sheff’s 2008 memoir Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction and Nic Sheff’s memoir Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines, and focuses on methamphetamine addiction and its impact on the family. Amy Ryan will play Vicki, Nic’s mother and the ex-wife of Steve Carell’s David, who was cut out of her son’s life after David won primary custody. She begins to work with David for the sake of Nic’s (Chalamet) health.
Production Co./Producers: Plan B’s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner (Brad’s Status)
Prediction: Premieres section with a bullet, or a return to Cannes.
Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top 3 from 2016: Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt), Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve), Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)