Intense, haunting, and rather chilling – Beautiful Boy
is based on a true story from both the father (David Sheff) and the son (Nic
Sheff). It’s a seemingly idyllic home and family outside of San
Francisco. Nic (played by the excellent Timothee Chalamet) is eighteen. In
flashback scenes we see this sweet boy. Now he’s surly at times, unpredictable,
and absolutely breaking his dad’s heart. David (played well by Steve Carell) is
concerned and caring and frustrated. He can see that Nic is high. Nic’s killing
time and spacing out. This young man, so sensitive and artistic and smart, is
hurting himself with drugs.
This story, sadly, is being played out all across America.
This is an upper middle class family that looks, on the outside, to be close to
perfect. You’ve got the dad and stepmom (Maura Tierney – wonderful) with Nic
and two younger siblings who adore their big brother. Again - flashback
scenes show Nic caring about his siblings and stepmom, and dad. It’s all a good
support system. And long distance, his mom (Amy Adams) has a role. But drugs –
first pot, then so much more, and finally crystal meth and heroin – tear
everyone apart. We see David take Nic to rehab. We hear Nic’s promises –
turning over that new leaf, and then relapsing. The drugs are relentless, and
Nic keeps seeking them as a solution to some hole, some need he can’t explain.
Beautiful Boy can tear you apart. You really
care for and root for the whole family. I thought this was a really well
done movie with great acting. Chalamet plays sensitive and sympathetic so well
– he’s tall and skinny and artsy looking with his shock of brown curly locks
and big dark expressive eyes. You want to believe him when he’s lying. I feel
so sorry for families who can’t save their beautiful boys or girls.
(RIP - Michael - my cousin's boy. i.e. the movie strikes close to home)
Haute couture - fashion that is art. A friend and I enjoyed a new exhibit at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth - Balenciaga in Black. Stunning gowns and dresses, women's suits and coats - all designed by Cristobal Balenciaga (1895-1972).
Made by hand in his ateliers, his work is all in black. But the luxurious fabrics and materials offered textures and shades of black that are rich in depth, and remarkable for the detail.
This is a stunning assembled collection of work, and the Kimbell is one of the few museums privileged to show it.
Went to the Fort Worth Zoo a week or so ago. I snapped this picture of the orangutan - so reflective.
His hand to his forehead...I picture him thinking of all he must do the next week, or pondering some hi-jinks his kids have gotten into, or for today just thinking, "Wednesday is Hump Day"
The first time I heard the song Killer Queen on the
radio, I perked up my ears. This was a new and different sound and the lead
singer’s voice soared effortlessly. 1970 – Freddie Mercury (lead singer),
Brian May (guitar), Roger Taylor (drums), and John Deacon (bass guitar) formed
Queen. The rest is another chapter in rock history. The film Bohemian
Rhapsody brings the Queen story to life, and actor Rami Malek embodies
the heart and soul of Freddie Mercury. He’s uncanny (and should be up for an
I’ve read other reviews that say this film follows the usual
rock story – struggling musicians, the big success, the excesses, the
inevitable clashes, the egos, and the break-up/ final triumphs. Well, yeah –
I’m very fine with that. Mercury was an outsider, in London with immigrant
parents. He was always seeking his father’s approval, but knew he was different
– meant to be a performer. And when he opened his mouth (his very unusual
overbite mouth) – the voice of an angel emerged. Forming Queen – a group of
misfits – the band explored and went beyond the norm. Their album, Night at
the Opera, was groundbreaking. Bohemian Rhapsody, the song,
was six minutes. What radio would play that? What are they singing? Is it
gibberish? And operatic?
I enjoyed the film, the music, and Freddie’s story. He found
true love early, but then strayed –confused, caught up in excess, but
inherently lonely. The band was his family. And he did contract AIDS, was aware
that his life was going to be cut short. He rallied the band back together to
play Wembley stadium in England for Live Aid. Talk about taking a final curtain
call – this was a performance for the ages. We are the Champions, We Will
Rock You, Somebody to Love, and on and on. Bohemian Rhapsody
will stir you, make you want to stomp your feet and clap, and frankly
sing-a-long like Wayne and Garth in a car.
I love Anne Tyler’s writing and Clock Dance
does not disappoint. This is not my favorite of hers – I did like A Spool
of Blue Thread more, but even lesser works are better than most. Trust
me, Tyler knows how to capture ordinary folks (often “older”) – their
thoughts, their lives, and she gives them dignity and understanding. Often
tough to do in this day and age.
Cover blurb: Willa Drake can count on one hand the
defining moments of her life. 1967 – schoolgirl coping with her mother’s
disappearance. 1977 – college coed considering a marriage proposal. 1997 –
young widow trying to piece her life back together. 2017 – yearning to be a
grandmother. Then one day, Willa receives a startling phone call
from a stranger. She flies cross-country to look after a young woman she’s
never met, her nine year old daughter, and a dog. This impulsive decision will
lead Willa into uncharted territory.
Interesting and quirky, Willa turns out to have some nerve
and backbone. She’s willing to say no to her stiff second husband, and continue
her journey of self-discovery. Clock Dance by Anne Tyler is full of
surprises. We’re all fighting the battle against Father Time. This book is a
lot about how we choose to do it – are we in charge? Or is time itself?
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.