Addiction movies seem to be the recurring theme of this awards season with Beautiful Boy, A Star is Born and now Ben is Back. What is also a recurring theme is how former Oscar nominee is breaking our hearts and seducing audiences with his roles in Boy Erased and now Ben is Back.
Ben is Back takes place on Christmas Eve when Ben, a drug addict/dealer, unexpectedly returns home from rehab, to grant his mother’s wish of being home for the holidays. This visit comes with more drama than anyone would have ever anticipated placing doubt, anxiety, fear and challenges for all involved.
Julia Roberts is exceptional. As Holly, she straddles the line beautifully of being a mother who wants to believe in her son no matter what to setting boundaries to attempting his safety him no matter what the cost to her or the family. Her performance is real, raw and absolutely engaging.
Thank you Peter Hedges for creating a diverse family unit, led by Courtney B. Vance, that is so much more reflective of the world we navigate in without placing a big neon sign over that issue. I love you so much for that. I also, love how the children are portrayed as loving their brother, but not unaware or ignorant to what s gong on around them.
However, Lucas Hedges is really giving the face of addiction a new twist. Making Ben a character who recognizes the danger his presence brings while trying to make it right is simply heart-wrenching. Hedges is stepping into his own and making a huge splash with this role.
Ben is Back will leave you raw and un-nerved, but will leave you wanting to know more when the last frame fades to black. Produced by Roadside Attractions and Black Bear Pictures, Ben is Back hits a theatre near you on December 7th.