Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Unreleased Movie, “Beautiful Boy,” Has Eerie Echoes of Tucson Tragedy


Watching some TV reporters stalking the parents of alleged mass murderer Jared Lee Loughran last night I realized: I’ve seen this movie.

“Beautiful Boy” debuted at the Toronto Film Festival last September. The drama, directed by Shawn Ku, stars Maria Bello and Michael Sheen as parents of an 18 year old boy who kills 21 people on his college campus. Kyle Gallner plays the couple’s son, seen in flashbacks and in TV News scenes from the college campus.

The only difference is, in the movie, the boy then takes his own life.

Anchor Bay, the small film division of Starz Entertainment, picked up this very sad but insightful film at the Toronto International Film Festival for US distribution.

What’s interesting about “Beautiful Boy” is that it tries to get into the minds and lives of the parents, upscale, smart people who knew they had a troubled son but could never get hold of the situation. Their lives fall apart quickly as they’re forced by prying media to move out of their house. No one wants the husband to return to work. And the marriage, which was always shaky, is in peril.

Reading about the Loughrans this morning, and then seeing reporters trying, idiotically, to get comments from and their neighbors, is eerily so much like “Beautiful Boy.” The movie may be too sensitive now to release any time soon, though. It’s worth seeing for the terrific performances, but it’s also a film with no happy ending. It is what it is.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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