Review: Beautiful Boy

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That such absolute devastation can occur in the blink of an eye is too much to fathom. A roll of the dice, an act of madness that changes life forever and ever. This is Beautiful Boy. The story of Bill (Michael Sheen) and Kate (Maria Bello) and their sad, disappointing lives, blown apart by the unthinkable tragedy of their only son who commits a mass shooting at his college before taking his own life. Why? There are no answers, just an eruption of confusion, guilt and despair that envelopes and changes them forever. They've spent endless years together trying to escape each other and their own emptiness and now they are confronted with something so much bigger than their petty miseries.

The movie won the Toronto 2010 Filmmakers Award. Shawn Ku has done an extraordinary job here on many levels. He co-wrote and directed this powerful movie. I was astonished to learn that this was a fictional account. It feels real. I won't lie, this isn't entertaining in the sense of the summer blockbusters that are in theaters, but on an artistic level this is a small miracle. The perfect marriage of story, dialogue, actors, directing and cinematography.

The dialogue is brilliant. The writers master the art of knowing what to leave unsaid. The story is original and heart-wrenching. The actors are hands-down amazing and I feel blessed to have been allowed to witness their gifts and skills in so perfect a project.

This is not a "date" movie. It is hard subject matter, not for the faint of heart. What you will walk away with is an appreciation for all that you do have because bad things can and do happen. Sometimes, though, we're blessed and lucky enough to find our way back from the abyss.

Tags: Shawn Ku, Michael Sheen, Maria Bello, Beautiful Boy

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