Relationships are a powerful thing, and the relationships between a father and his son are one of the most interesting ones to explore.
Upcoming critically-acclaimed drama BEAUTIFUL BOY tells the poignant true story of a young addict and his father’s desperation to save him and his family. Ahead of its release in cinemas this week, we take a look at some of the best films that showcase the many facets of fathers and son relationships.
Big Fish (2003)
William (Billy Crudup) has a strained relationship with his father Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) because he is always telling exaggerated stories about his life that seem untrue. When William learns of his father’s declining health, him and his wife Josephine travel to Alabama to spend time with him. Even on his deathbed, Edward recounts his life through fantastical anecdotes. Edward’s dying wish is for his son to fabricate his own story about how his life ends and by eventually agreeing to do so, he learns to love his father in way he’s never been able to before.
The Pursuit of Happiness (2006)
Telling the true story of Chris Gardner, who despite struggling to make ends meet was determined to pursue his dreams and make a better life for his son. Will Smith and his own son Jaden Smith bring the characters to life in this emotional and ultimately inspiring film which sees the pair try their best to survive around 1980’s San Francisco after they are evicted from their apartment. A truly heart-breaking scene sees Chris lock himself and his son in a public toilet cubicle for shelter one night as he reaches rock bottom.
After the death of his mother, Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is astonished to find out that his father, Hal (Christopher Plummer), has a young male lover and has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The pair grow closer, as Hal explores his way into the gay community and begins to live his happiest life. Oliver grows depressed and struggles with his career when his father passes but his grieving is eased by the company of his girlfriend Anna (Mélanie Laurent).
The Judge (2014)
Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) is an intelligent but crooked big-city lawyer who must travel home for his mother’s funeral. Once he arrives, a renewed tension sparks between him and his father, Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall), who disapproves of his son’s morally ambiguous career. Upon Hank’s leaving, the Judge is arrested on the count of murder. Hank takes on his father’s defence and sets out to learn the truth, reconnecting with his estranged family along the way.
Beautiful Boy (2018)
Beautiful Boy is based on a collection of best-selling memoirs written by a father and son, outlining their experiences with addiction and how they dealt with it within their family. Timothée Chalamet plays Nic Sheff, a teenager who becomes reliant on drugs and his subsequent struggle with recovery as his father David, played by Steve Carell, tries everything possible to help him. The film is a stark and raw look at the frustrating nature of addiction and how it not only affects the individual, but those close to them.