- Director: Peter Hedges
- Writer: Peter Hedges
- Producer: Peter Hedges; Nina Jacobson; Teddy Schwarzman; Brad Simpson
When do you turn your back on the son you love?
This is not your run-of-the-mill drug addiction stroy...yes, all the familiar threads are there...but, Mr Hedges weaves in something a little extra...a missing dog! It's not a metaphor...there really is a missing dog...but, it could just as easily serve as one.
The 'dog search' is a route into the drug-infested underworld where Ben is [most] comfortable...his mother - on the other hand - ingests the realities and characters of addiction. It's a tough lesson...drugs have a price-tag and addicts pay for them any way they can. Ben used his body...for the [financially rewarding] gratification of older men. His mother is sick to-the-core...that's her son!
As with all drug dramas, the emotion is high...Julia Roberts throws out a mighty fine performance as she walks an unknown path into grim territory. Lucas Hedges balances his character on a tipping point...between charismatic and manipulative, from being savvy to vulnerable [and back again].
It's a different approach to a [lamentably] familiar story...this - like Beautiful Boy - spotlights the collateral damage of addiction...those who have to dole out the hard love...in order to survive, how sobering drug addiction is...for these [collateral] victims!
19-year-old Ben Burns unexpectedly returns home to his family's suburban home on Christmas Eve morning. Ben's mother, Holly, is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son staying clean. Over a turbulent 24 hours, new truths are revealed, and a mother's undying love for her son is tested as she does everything in her power to keep him safe.