Timothee Chalamet's acting chops are getting praise for the second time this year. The young actor who made a splash in Call Me By Your Name stars as struggling addict Nic alongside concerned parents (Steve Carell, Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan) in Beautiful Boy, which gets a 69% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. What they're saying:
- "It's the fine writing and the heartfelt performances that elevate Beautiful Boy to something more than just another well-made cautionary tale,” writes Richard Roeper at the Chicago Sun-Times. Carell is "effective" and Tierney "outstanding," but Chalamet shines. He's "reminiscent of James Dean—electric and forceful and screen-grabbing, but stunningly vulnerable and real." In other words, "true greatness in the making."
- He's "the real deal," as David Edelstein puts it at Vulture. "At times, he's as raw as a little boy, at others a hardened liar." Edelstein was also impressed with Ryan (who starred with Carell in The Office) as Nic's mom. She's "alive onscreen, with several different emotions—guilt, grief, irritation, and more guilt—passing over her face in an instant," he writes.
- The film itself, based on twin memoirs from a real-life father-and-son duo, is "imperfect yet affecting," showcasing "a pitiless cycle of hope and disappointment too many of us will experience," writes Chuck Wilson at LA Weekly. He notes the "time-compressing storytelling motif inventively breaks up the repetition of rehab and release."
- Brian Lowry wasn't impressed, though. Despite serving as an "awards-bait-y showcase" for both Chalamet and Carell, Beautiful Boy feels like a "relatively minor wrinkle on a stark, emotional, all-too-familiar story," he writes at CNN, concluding the "slowly paced" film "isn't worth rushing out to see."
(Carell won praise for this,