Posted in The Reel World by Gino Sassani on December 19th, 2018
One of the best films of 2018 was Beautiful Boy. Both Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet deliver absolutely stellar performances as a father and his addicted son. That story took us on a father’s terrifying journey of dealing with his son’s addiction and the toll it takes over a series of years. If you compress that experience down to a single frantic night, you get an idea of what you’re in store for when you go to see Ben Is Back. It’s another heart-wrenching story of the emotional toll that addiction has not only on the addict but the people who love the addict. It’s a Christmas story, but it’s not the kind of story that involves miracles and Santa. It’s about love, but a tough love that only a parent of an addicted child will ever really know. But this film will take you close enough to the experience, perhaps closer than you will feel comfortable being. For most of us this is as close as we’ll get…if we’re very lucky.
Ben Burns (Hedges) takes a 24-hour leave from his rehab facility. He wants to visit his mother and family for the Christmas holiday. His mother Holly (Roberts) is glad to see her son, but you can tell immediately she has some concerns as she begins to move things around in her house.