Straitlaced Princeton University admissions officer Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is caught off-guard when she makes a recruiting visit to an alternative high school overseen by her former college classmate, the freewheeling John Pressman (Paul Rudd). Pressman has surmised that Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), his gifted yet very unconventional student, might well be the son that Portia secretly gave up for adoption many years ago. Soon, Portia finds herself bending the rules for Jeremiah, putting at risk the life she thought she always wanted — but in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having.
Alice, an unpretentious and individual 19-year-old, is betrothed to a dunce of an English nobleman. At her engagement party, she escapes the crowd to consider whether to go through with the marriage and falls down a hole in the garden after spotting an unusual rabbit. Arriving in a strange and surreal place called ‘Underland,’ she finds herself in a world that resembles the nightmares she had as a child, filled with talking animals, villainous queens and knights, and frumious bandersnatches. Alice realizes that she is there for a reason–to conquer the horrific Jabberwocky and restore the rightful queen to her throne.
Taking over Leeds United, Brian Clough’s abrasive approach and his clear dislike of the players’ dirty style of play make it certain there is going to be friction. Glimpses of his earlier career help explain both his hostility to previous manager Don Revie and how much he is missing right-hand man Peter Taylor
Forks, Washington resident Bella Swan is reeling from the departure of her vampire love, Edward Cullen, and finds comfort in her friendship with Jacob Black, a werewolf. But before she knows it, she’s thrust into a centuries-old conflict, and her desire to be with Edward at any cost leads her to take greater and greater risks.
Filmmakers have explored the subject of school shootings in the past, but first-time feature director Shawn Ku finds a unique perspective on this delicate issue. Rather than focusing on the tragic incident and the events leading up to it, “Beautiful Boy” confronts its devastating aftermath. Moreover, the killer is almost entirely absent throughout the film. In his place, we look through the eyes of his parents, who struggle to find refuge from the public and from media backlash, while overcoming their own sudden loss.
In two of the most heartrending performances in recent memory, Maria Bello and Michael Sheen play parents in a rocky marriage who are hit with the shocking news that their 18-year-old son has committed a mass shooting at his college before taking his own life.
With a maturity and comprehension beyond his years, Ku (who co-wrote the screenplay with Michael Armbruster) shows remarkable insight into two middle-aged parents faced with unspeakable anguish. Separated from the rest of the world by this incomprehensible act, they find their marital troubles gradually taking a back seat to the traumatic situation thrust upon them.
Credit must also go to the film’s stellar supporting cast, who add further weight to this difficult story. Moon Bloodgood, Alan Tudyk and Meat Loaf Aday are perfectly cast as bystanders to the slow-burning wreckage at hand.
“Beautiful Boy” is fearless. It defies convention to shed light on something that many similarly topical films have shied away from. The result is a bleak yet rewarding experience that dares to challenge not only its audience, but also previous investigations of this dark subject. [Synopsis by Jane Schoettle/Toronto International Film Festival]