Steve Carell plays David Sheff in Amazon’s Beautiful Boy, which is based off of Sheff’s Best-Selling memoir about his son’s drug addiction and its effects on his family. The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and has been getting rave reviews, with whispers of Academy Award nominations for Carell and co-star Timothée Chalamet. Chalamet plays Nic Sheff in the movie, and the trailer goes back and forth between his innocent childhood and turbulent drug abuse, set to the soundtrack of Sigur Ros’ “Svefn-g-englar.”
Steve Carell, who stars as David Sheff, is intense in the trailers alone. Sheff goes on about how he had such great plans for his son Nic when he was a child, and says “and now I just want him to not die.” While Nic is addicted to drugs, his father becomes addicted to finding a cure for Nic. As a journalist, Sheff researched every treatment that could possibly help Nic, which turned into an article in the New York Times in 2005, and then a full memoir in 2008, which is partly what Beautiful Boy is based off of.
Nic Chef also wrote about his addiction from his perspective in the book Tweak and is the second half of what Beautiful Boy is based on. Nic got drunk for the first time at the age of eleven and soon graduated to smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine. By the time he was in his teens, Nic regularly tried Ecstasy and formed an addiction to crystal meth and heroin. He always figured that he could stop whenever he wanted to, which ended up being a lot harder than originally thought.
22-year old Timothee Chalamet was nominated for his first Oscar earlier this year for his lead role in Call Me By Your Name, and from the early reviews, it looks like a Best Supporting Actor role could be in the young actor’s future. The trailer for Beautiful Boy contains some powerful dialogue from Chalamet’s Nic Chef when he declares that he wants to get sober because he loves his family, adding, “I want them to be proud of me.” The incredible source material for the film seems daunting to bring to the big screen, but it looks like Chalamet and Steve Carell have done the memoirs justice.
Beautiful Boy is directed by Felix van Groeningen, who also co-wrote the script with Luke Davies. In addition to Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet, the film also stars Maura Tierney and Amy Ryan. In order to get recognized for awards season, Amazon Studios will release Beautiful Boy in select theaters October 12th. Until then, you can check out the memoirs by David and Nic Sheff, and then watch the trailer for the movie below, thanks to the Amazon Studios YouTube channel.