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Felix van Groeningen's Beautiful Boy

Festival Predictions

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Felix van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy

2018 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Felix van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy

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.

U.S. Distributor: Amazon Studios.


Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric 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. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).


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