Film of the Week: Ben is Back
Julia Roberts doing how she do
With this, and the recent, tonally similar Beautiful Boy, America’s initial cultural response to its disastrous opioid epidemic seems to be primarily shock and horror that, yes, even middle-class white people can fall prey to addiction. That’s a cheap shot, as both these films mean well. Ben Is Back edges it, however, thanks to a commanding performance from Julia Roberts as a mother wondering just how permanent her son’s recovery is. Lucas Hedges is on strong form, too, as the son in question, showing the pain but avoiding self-pity. This won’t have you rolling in the aisles, and it’s on far less steady ground when it tries to move away from the domestic space to a pretty limply realised drug underworld, but there’s more than enough here to make you remember just how great Roberts is. Times & trailer
Image: Black Bear Pictures
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