Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Beautiful Boy Review

Obviously inspired by the shootings at Virginia Tech, this movie becomes even more powerful in light of the recent shootings in Norway.  It's the story of the immediate aftermath of a campus shooting that focuses on the effects of the tragedy on the parents of the shooter/suicide victim.  In this, there is no real story.  It isn't a typical movie that follows a plot and comes to some sort of conclusion or resolution.  It really just is a snapshot of people's lives over a certain point in time.  This film is entirely set up to make the audience feel one emotion.

Beautiful Boy relies on strong acting performances.  It does get this from Michael Sheen and Maria Bello.  The emotional roller coasters that these characters are on always seems quite real.  When they veer off from each other, you feel the tension and when they collide, you feel the passion and sorrow.  There is only one spot where the writing is forced and the resulting dialogue on the screen seems a bit wooden.  Supporting performances are decent but nothing really to write home about.  I was surprised to see Alan Tudyk and Meatloaf in it.

As for the rest of the production value, there is nothing innovative or special about it.  But, as I said, a movie like this lives and dies with its acting performances.  While some of the camera angles seemed odd, it didn't take away from the film because the whole thing has a real indie feel to it.  I assume that was the intent.  I was not sorry that I paid $10 to see it.  While it seems to drag a bit because of the lack of a traditional plot, it doesn't go on for too long.

If you are in the mood for a drama with absolutely no comic relief, see it.  But, be warned.  There is only one emotion for this: sadness.  It is slightly less depressing than House of Sand and Fog or Requiem for a Dream.  If you can't handle that, give it a miss.

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