“I felt like, just find the humanity in the guy. Don’t try and play a drug addict in any way that felt naive or self-serving,” said Timothee Chalamet about his performance in “Beautiful Boy” as Nic Sheff during an Academy Conversations Q&A for Oscar voters at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, moderated by Dave Karger. (watch above). As a young man, the real Sheff struggled with drug addiction for years before finally getting clean. He eventually wrote the memoir “Tweak,” which is partly the basis for the film.
“It didn’t feel like it was a biopic,” Chalamet explains. “I think the biggest gift I got from Nic — and I’ve heard [Steve Carell] say similar things about [Nic’s father David Sheff] — was license to go and make this thing,” to dive into this difficult story without “stringent” demands or limitations from the film’s real-life subjects.
Will the Oscar voters in attendance respond to the film and its performances? The actors and filmmakers have been on the radar before. Chalamet is just coming off his first Oscar nomination, Best Actor for “Call Me by Your Name” (2017). Carell was also a past Best Actor nominee for “Foxcatcher” (2014). Director Felix Van Groeningen previously helmed “The Broken Circle Breakdown” (2013), which was an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film representing Belgium. And co-writer Luke Davies picked up a bid for scripting “Lion” (2016).
Thus far a number of critics have been on Chalamet’s side, with Owen Gleiberman (Variety) saying the actor is “transformed” in an “excellent” performance and Kenneth Turan (Los Angeles Times) adding that “Chalamet is so good it’s worth seeing ‘Beautiful Boy’ for his work alone.” Time will tell if the academy will feel the same way.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.