In 2005, writer David Sheff penned a piece for The New York Times Magazine titled "My Addicted Son," chronicling his then-college-aged son's years-long struggle with addiction. Two memoirs and a film adaptation later, his story, as told in the biopic Beautiful Boy, premieres on Amazon — which means you can watch it right now.
The initial piece led to a book deal for a memoir called Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction. Released in 2008, the memoir was published concurrently with one written by his son, Nic Sheff, detailing his side of the story. Nic's book was called Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines. Both books became New York Times bestsellers and Nic followed his up with We All Fall Down: Living With Addiction in 2011.
Paramount Pictures and Brad Pitt's production company Plan B secured rights to David and Nic's first memoirs in 2008, but it would take years for the project to come together. In 2011, Cameron Crowe reportedly penned a script for the film and was looking to direct with Mark Wahlberg starring as David. But that version of the project ultimately fell through. Then, in 2015, it was announced that Belgian director Felix Van Groeningen would direct a new script written by Australian writer Luke Davies.
Steve Carrell signed on to play David, while Will Poulter (seen most recently in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch) had been slated to play Nic. But in 2017, it was announced that the role of Nic had officially gone to Timothée Chalamet. Van Groeningen reportedly cast Chalamet specifically because he didn't want a well-known actor in the role. Of course, Chalamet went on to become 2017's breakout star in films like Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name, both overwhelming awards season favorites which earned Chalamet both an Oscar and a Golden Globe nomination.
Beautiful Boy premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September of 2018, and also starred Maura Tierney (ER, The Affair) as David's new girlfriend, Karen Barbour. Carrell's fellow The Office alum Amy Ryan played David's ex-wife and Nic's mom Vicki. That October, the film was released in the United States, and it's already drumming up another year's worth of awards season buzz for Chalamet.
Oscar nominations won't be announced till later this month, but the young actor has already earned a Golden Globe nomination and a Screen Actor's Guild Award nomination for his work on the film. The Golden Globes air Jan. 6 and the SAG Awards are on Jan. 27, and while competition in the field is steep, another Oscar nomination this year seems like a sure thing for Chalamet. So if you want to get a head start catching up on this year's Oscar favorites, you can start streaming Beautiful Boy on Amazon.
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