Beautiful Boy (2018)

beautiful-boy-movie-poster-review-2018Director: Felix Van Groeningen

Genre: Drama, Biography

Runtime: 111 Minutes

Main Cast: Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan, Christian Convery, Oakley Bull, Kue Lawrence

Plot: Beautiful Boy is a movie based on a pair of best selling memoirs written by father and son David and Nic Sheff, chronicling the experiences of Nic’s drug addiction, recovery and relapse, and the effects on himself and his family.

My Thoughts: So this was Monday night’s ODEON Screen Unseen movie! I’ve come to learn that the cryptic clues they give out always point to a movie they know everyone is hyped to see – when really it isn’t! I’m sure they’d angled their clues for A Simple Favor to make it seem it would be Bohemian Rhapsody, and every clue this time around could easily point to Glass. Thing is – Screen Unseen movies are always the lesser known movies regular movie-goers would skip, so it was never really going to be Glass.

Still, when the screen came up with Beautiful Boy, it was funny to hear the groans by several people, and then we had a few walkouts. I still find that odd, if you’ve come out to see a secret screening, are you not willing to give whatever’s shown a go?

Anyway! Gosh, this was a tough watch. It’s the perfect movie for this kind of screening because as much as I’ve been looking forward to seeing Carell and Chalamet’s performances, I just can’t get excited about the movie itself. Can anyone be excited about a movie like this?

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As I knew they would be, the performances were exceptional. I’ve been a huge fan of Carell since The Office, and I never thought he would be doing such serious and hard-hitting roles after! It suits him though. The main thing that didn’t sit well with me though was I never found myself invested in the characters enough, and I don’t know why. It also feels much longer than it’s runtime.

Best Bit: In the first part of the movie there are a few times that father and son embrace and say ‘everything’ to each other. I knew there would be a moment that we would find out when and my heart exploded into a million little pieces.

Worst Bit: Honestly, there’s no moment in the movie that I would deem ‘bad’. There are several scenes that are tough to watch for sure though.

Fun Trivia: The real Nic Sheff stated in a Q & A that the drawing book that David, Steve Carell in the movie finds of his son’s addiction struggles was drawn by Nic’s real-life half-brother Jasper Sheff.

My Rating: I can’t think of something funny to use as my rating that isn’t wildly inappropriate, so Beautiful Boy gets a very sensible 3 and a half stars from me.

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Review: Battle of the Sexes (2017)

battle-of-the-sexes-movie-review-2017If there’s anyone who can get me interested enough to sit through a biographical drama of tennis, it’s Emma Stone and Steve Carell. When I heard last year they were going to be starring in a movie together, I think I got my hopes up for another Crazy, Stupid, Love. If you can’t tell, I’m not the biggest fan of biographic movies (although I’m beginning to turn, to be honest) and sports has never been my thing.

Battle of the Sexes (2017) tells the true story of the 1973 tennis match between Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) and Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) in the sports world’s biggest struggle for women and equality. Fed up of women champions being offered as little as an eighth of the prize money that men are offered, Billie Jean starts her own tennis championship for women.

Meanwhile, self-proclaimed chauvinist Bobby Riggs, in the midst of his struggles with a gambling addiction and a failing marriage, offers to play a match against the women of the tennis world with a huge prize fund, in the ultimate battle of the sexes. It’s an offer that Billie Jean ultimately can’t refuse, but she must also deal with her own personal struggles in her life.

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What I love the most about this movie is how engaging the story is. I was expecting something heavily political, something with a lot of tennis lingo that would go over my head, something that would end up boring the pants off me essentially. But I was engrossed from the very start; I guess my lack of knowledge about the great Billie Jean was also to thank.

You see whilst on tour, Billie Jean ends up falling in love with a hairdresser called Marilyn (Andrea Riseborough). The two have an exciting affair, but get caught by Billie Jean’s husband, Larry (Austin Stowell). Larry is one of the kindest characters I’ve ever seen on screen. He finds out about his wife’s affair but instead of confronting her, he does all he can to support her through the build up to the big match, even offering to call Marilyn to help whilst Billie Jean was ill. My heart genuinely hurt for the guy.

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And then of course we have Bobby Riggs who provides a lot of the laughs during the movie. His sexist comments are so shocking at times and yet he remains an extremely likeable guy, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. His act stayed strong right up until the final match (I won’t tell you the outcome just in case you’re like me and had no idea how it would go) but the way his story ended was perfectly fitting.

Just before the credits roll the movie gives us a summary of what happened after the game which really moved me, and then we got shown photos of the real Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King, and I just can’t believe how similar they are!

If you can’t tell, I have so much love for this movie. I honestly can’t find anything negative to say about it, so that’s why Battle of the Sexes gets 5 out of 5 tennis balls from me.

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