Beautiful Boy (2010)
Bill (Michael Sheen) and Kate (Maria Bello) are a disgruntled married couple planning a family vacation, well at least Kate is as she’s the only one that seems to care were they go vacationing. As Kate is looking for places to go, Bill is getting ready to go to bed when the phone rings, it’s their college freshmen son Sam (Kyle Gallner). Kate asked him if he would like to go to Miami which he and his dad reply that it doesn’t matter to them where they go. After Bill hangs up and goes to bed Sam tells his mother that snowflakes always have six sides. After explaining this to her he hangs up while Kate finishes the reservations. The next morning while Kate is working in the garden her neighbor informs her that there has been a shooting at Sam’s college. Bill hears the news at work and goes home to be with his wife and tries to contact their son. A few moments later a knock comes at their door, the police men inform Kate that Sam is dead but it gets worse as Sam wasn’t one of the victims, he was the shooter.
Beautiful boy directed by Shawn Ku then goes on to show how Bill and Kate try and comprehend what has happened and why it happened. The film pulls no punches as it shows the couple who were already struggling with their marriage try and get over this tragedy. The media doesn’t help as they admittedly start showing up at their house and camp outside the house waiting for them. They are forced to move in with Kate’s brother Eric (Alan Tudyk) and his wife Trish (Moon Bloodgood).
Both Sheen and Bello pull out excellent performances as they are believable as the grieving parents of a lost son who you can’t help but feel sorry for. Gallner is also great as the troubled college student for the few minutes that he’s in the movie. Director Shawn Ku uses many handheld cameras that make the movie feel intimate and real. The only bad thing that I have to say about the film is that it tends to linger in some scenes and probably should have been a tad shorter.
Overall the film is a touching account of a couple that are trying to stay together by overcoming their troubles and a tragic incident. If you are looking for a well thought out film that explores the aftermath of a school shooting and follows the shooters parents then you should definitely check out Beautiful Boy, 3 ½ out of 5
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