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‘Beautiful Boy’ Sparks Oscar Talk for Timothée Chalamet at CinemaCon, First Footage Earns Rave Reactions

Chalamet plays a meth-addicted teenager in Felix Van Groeningen's English-language debut.

Timothee ChalametThe Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 05 Feb 2018

Timothée Chalamet

Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Timothée Chalamet earned his first Oscar nomination this year thanks to his breakout lead performance in “Call Me by Your Name,” and it’s possible the 22-year-old actor will have another nomination under his belt this time next year. Amazon debuted the first footage from its upcoming awards contender “Beautiful Boy” at CinemaCon, and the first reactions from press are overwhelmingly positive.

“Beautiful Boy” marks the English-language debut of Belgian director Felix Van Groeningen, best known for “The Broken Circle Breakdown.” The story is adapted two memoirs: David Sheff’s biography “Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction,” recounts watching his son Nick struggle with a methamphetamine addiction; Nick Sheff authored, “Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines.” Steve Carell is playing David in the movie, while Chalamet takes on the role of the troubled son.

Amazon premiered a scene featuring an emotional confrontation between Chalamet and Carell’s characters. After Nick has relapsed many times, they meet in a diner. Withdrawing Nick parrots recovery speak, boasting that he’s five days sober. But he’s slurring his words, and becomes distraught when David refuses him money, sneering that his mother should have gotten custody of him. David offers to put Nick up in a hotel, but Nick bolts from the restaurant, before they place an order.

Steve Carell Amazon Studios Presentation, CinemaCon, Las Vegas, USA - 26 Apr 2018

Steve Carell at
Amazon Studios’ CinemaCon Presentation, where he discussed “Beautiful Boy”

Todd Williamson/January Images/REX/Shutterstock

Press in attendance called the footage “devastating” and “harrowing,” with some saying Chalamet is destined for the awards conversation. Carell was on hand at CinemaCon, while Chalamet appeared briefly via Skype from London. Of the memoirs, Carell said, ” They were both stunning in the sense that — and the movie tries to depict this — there are no easy answers. It’s not presented like the cinematic version of this problem, or this relationship. It felt very true to me, and very real.”

A bad audio connection kept the crowd from hearing Chalamet’s response. “Rest assured that whatever he just said was incredibly articulate,” assured Carell, who called his onscreen son “one of the most profound young people I’ve ever met.”

“Beautiful Boy” opens in select theaters October 12. Check out reactions to the first footage of Chalamet below. IndieWire’s editor-at-large Anne Thompson reacted by saying both Chalamet and Carell are “Oscar-bound.”

Additional reporting by Jenna Marotta. 

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