Beautiful Boy comes to DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct 11. The disc features commentary track from writer/director Shawn Ku, Editor Chad Galster, and Cinematographer Michael Fimognari, and will include deleted scenes — like this one we we’ve been given for an exclusive preview today.
The devastating repercussions of a school shooting have been explored twice this year in films that make us feel the torment from the parents perspective. We Need to Talk About Kevin spends more time dissecting the tangled mother-son relationship in events leading up to the incident. Beautiful Boy thrusts us inside the claustrophobic sense of alienation the parents feel, trying to cope with the tragedy in its aftermath.
Barely 15 minutes pass in Beautiful Boy before Michael Sheen and Maria Bello are hit broadside with the jolt that their college freshman son has gone on a campus rampage, killing two dozen students and teaches before turning the gun on himself. The remainder of Beautiful Boy tracks the harrowing course their lives take as they try to piece together what went wrong — drawn together again in the midst of their already broken marriage.
That’s the aspect of Beautiful Boy I found most fascinating: How the shreds of a mother and father’s damaged love for each other has to be patched back together in order for them to navigate the unimaginable ordeal their child has brought upon them. Bitter solace is the only solace they’ve got, forced to find strength they thought had dissolved as a couple when their partnership was already on the verge of collapse. Watching how they manage to achieve a measure of peace makes Beautiful Boy emotionally therapeutic in ways most movies never attempt.