I knew the subject matter of this film, and it’s still not an easy two hours.
Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carell carry this two hander, about the relationship of a father and son, as the son has a lifelong fight with drug addiction. Every family has some version of this: the person you love unconditionally and who you sincerely feel like they mean well, but they continually go down a path that you can’t comprehend. And Steve Carell (and the story’s structure) does a great job of going through every stage: complete disbelief, trying to understand, rage, disconnection; all of it.
As far as Chalamet goes, as the movie went on I thought of him as both a young Bale (an actor already committed to ‘Method’ at a super young age) and a young Leo (I want to say ‘Basketball Diaries’ was his serious druggie movie without Googling?). I mean, if he’s already positioned as the teenage serious actor fast tracked to the A list, there are worse career trajectories.
Not even November yet so I’m not going to say either of these are ‘top 5’ performances this year. But they could be. We’ll see.