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Beautiful Boy

Beautiful Boy

Shawn Ku

  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2010
  • Language: English
  • Producer: Lee Clay, Eric Gozlan
  • Executive Producer: Mark Moran, Richard Gabai, Richard Iott
  • Screenplay: Michael Armbruster, Shawn Ku
  • Runtime: 100
  • Programmes:

A married couple on the verge of separation are leveled by the news their 18-year-old son committed a mass shooting at his college, then took his own life. Stars Michael Sheen and Maria Bello.

DramaFamily RelationsMental healthAlienationFirst Time Feature

screening times

official description

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 eighteen-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.

Jane Schoettle

director bio

Shawn Ku was born in Ithaca, New York, and studied chemistry at Harvard University before pursuing a career as an actor, director and dance choreographer. After graduating from the USC Film School, he wrote and directed the award-winning short comedy Pretty Dead Girl (04) and co-choreographed and directed the musical film The American Mall (08), for which he earned a Directors Guild of America award nomination. Beautiful Boy (10) is his feature film debut.

full credits

Principal Cast: Maria Bello, Michael Sheen
Lee Clay, Eric Gozlan
Executive Producer:
Mark Moran, Richard Gabai, Richard Iott
Michael Fimognari
Chad Galster
Joe Dzuban
Trevor Morris
Production Designer:
Gabor Norman
International Sales Agent:
 Lightning Entertainment
Production Company:
First Point Entertainment/Gold Rush Entertainment
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