True Story –
September 10, 2018 – “What a miracle it is that we’re sitting here.” Those are the words of Nic Sheff, one of the subjects of Beautiful Boy, the devastating drama that premiered Friday night at the Toronto International Film Festival. Nic was an excellent student and seemingly model son when he gradually became addicted to drugs—all kinds, but most especially crystal meth—while in his teens. Felix van Groeningen’s film is based on the dual memoirs of that period by Nic and his desperate father David, both of whom were present at a post-screening Q&A, along with the director, producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, co-writer Luke Davies (Lion), editor Nico Leunen, and stars Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet and Amy Ryan.
For David Sheff, “Living this was traumatic, then writing [the book], and now this.” The journalist, whose account of his family’s struggle began as an article for The New York Times Magazine called “My Addicted Son,” told the audience at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre that he felt lucky: “They made a movie out of our lives that I didn’t think was possible.” He praised the film for avoiding the movies’ frequent depiction of drug-taking as fun and for being “a beautiful testament to those who suffer.”