Podtalk: Director Felix Van Groeningen of ‘Beautiful Boy’

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CHICAGO – In a film certain to get Oscar buzz, “Beautiful Boy” opened on October 19th in Chicago, and opened the recent Chicago International Film Festival. The delicate and sensitive portrayal of addiction features fine performances from Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, guided by director Felix Van Groeningen.

The film is based on the true story of David (Carell) and Nic (Chalamet) Scheff, a father and son whose relationship is challenged by Nic’s overriding and difficult-to-shake drug addiction. The film is gritty and never blinks, in addition to punctuating the notion that despite a family’s socio-economic condition, no one is immune to the destructive powers of a person unable to rein in addictive needs. Steve Carell and Timotheé Chalamet create an intuitive chemistry as a Dad trying everything to save a son.

Director Felix Van Groeningen and the Cast of ‘Beautiful Boy’
Photo credit: Joe Arce for Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com/Amazon Studios

Director Felix Van Groeningen hails from Belgium, and this is his feature debut in the United States. His first film was 2004’s “Steve + Sky,” and his 2012 film “The Broken Circle Breakdown” won the European award at the Berlin Film Festival, and Best Foreign Language Film at France’s César Awards, among other festivals and honors. Van Groeningen has a unique visual style, that fills the screen with urgent expression, which creates a wider vista in “Beautiful Boy.”

In a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Director Felix Van Groeningen talked about the sensitivity of a story about addiction, his visual style and his European view of the United States.

”Beautiful Boy” opened in Chicago on October 19th, part of a nationwide release. See local listings for theaters and details. Featuring Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan, Stefanie Scott and Andre Royo. Screenplay adapted by Felix Van Groeningen and Luke Davies. Directed by Felix Van Groeningen. Rated “R”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2018 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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