Beautiful Boy

November 15, 2011 No Comments

Beautiful Boy is a parent’s worst nightmare……the death of a child is a tragedy……the death of other children at the hands of one’s own child is a soul murdering event.  Director Shawn Ku has taken us into the lives of two parents (played wonderfully by Maria Bello and Michael Sheen) who must suffer through the aftermath of their son’s murderous acts.  Their  already troubled marriage crumbles as they attempt to make sense of what has happened.  Grief turns to anger and guilt as they begin to blame each other.  We also try to explain what seems to have no explanation…what did we miss?  How could this have happened?  Is there no end to the sense dread that now seems to hover over them?  Should they (the parents who SHOULD have known) expect forgiveness?  Do they deserve a normal life?  Although we see very little of Sammy, the troubled son, he is portrayed with a palpable sense of sadness that his parents seem to overlook as they make vacation plans together…would we, as parents, be as obtuse?  The film circles around these questions with sensitivity as we connect with the parents in their shattered world.  There are hints of paternal unavailability and a maternal OCDness that might explain Sammy’s depression…really?  Really?  REALLY?  Are the lines between sanity and mentally illness really drawn so closely?  If only….if only……if only….the film never really provides any answers, nor does it judge, requiring instead that we make our own assessment and then go on….

This film is currently available at Comcast  On Demand under the heading “just released in theatres”….it’s release on the big screen was very limited…apparently not enough of a feel good film to fill the seats…….I recommend that you skip “Jack and Jill” and take on “Beautiful Boy”….Jolyn Wagner

Must See Movie of the Week

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