Beautiful Boy: my son, my son, what have ye done? | Movie Review | Chicago Reader

Beautiful Boy: my son, my son, what have ye done? 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


They say there's nothing more painful than losing a child, but what about losing your child when he kills 20 people and then himself in a collegiate shooting rampage? This harsh chamber drama by first-time filmmaker Shawn Ku focuses tightly on a professional couple (Maria Bello and Michael Sheen, both excellent) who are thrust into a nightmare when their morose only child goes berserk during his freshman year. Despite the fact that this sort of tragedy has become commonplace in America, the emotional experience of being the monster's mom and dad is still uncharted territory, and Ku handles it credibly, rooting his cramped, near-surreal story in the practical details of dealing with the police, making a public statement, grieving appropriately, and trying to escape the media circus. The most daring aspect of the film, fully realized in Bello's grave performance, may be the notion that a parent can invest endless love in a child and one day find him unfathomable. R, 100 min. River East 21

What others are saying

  • Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

    We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

    Are you in?

      Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
      Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
      Reader Radical $15/month →  
      Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

    Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

     One-time donation  → 

    Film Details

    Related Locations

    Agenda Teaser

    Performing Arts
    April 30
    Performing Arts
    December 16

    Popular Stories