Ben is Back Online Movie Trailer
Peter Hedges is a versatile artist who has drawn attention to the novel What's Eating Gilbert Grape. This novel was screened in a rather successful film with Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp, and then Peter's film career began. The next success was the Oscar nomination in the adaptable scenario for the movie About a Boy. Ben is Back is his author's film, and his lead role is played by his son Lucas (Lucas Hedges).
The action of the film follows Ben Burns (Hedges), who returns home ahead of the Christmas celebration. It turns out that before the time he left the rehabilitation center where he was on the drug withdrawal, to visit his family. His mother, Holly (Julia Roberts), is looking forward to returning her son, but soon he turns out that he is still in great danger. There will be a race with time, which will change their lives ...
Yesterday I wrote about Beautiful Boy, which follows a similar theme of family drama with teenage addiction. Here the drama was raised to a higher level, almost immediately at the very beginning, when Ben unexpectedly appeared in front of the house. This arrival determines the different dynamics of the relationship between the household. The mother was thrilled because she did not expect her Christmas wish to come true, but the sister and stepfather reasonably doubt that Ben knows who brings some trouble with him. Both Holly and Ben have an inner effect - she is also happy to see her son, but also worried about her family, while he carries the burden of guilt and lying while it is all right.
Ben insists that he remains only during Christmas, that his sponsor approved the visit and would not use drugs. His mother, Holly, has several basic rules, including testing on drugs and not leaving her sight. Their relationship, defined by deep distrust, is what the next course of narrative is about. There is a clear degree of vulnerability in Holiness's determination and strictness, not because of potential Ben's problems, but because of her decisions is mother's care and love.
Ben is the source of this vulnerability and he is aware of it, and it seems that he is quite capable of manipulating it to his advantage. Holly works hard, but will trust his son, for the simple reason that he does not want to accept another option. Ben seems to have changed, but as the story moves, we find out that it could be a lie. This establishes three separate parts within the film - between mother and son, between Holly and the rest of her family, and between Ben and the tail of his past.
I think that Peter Hedges was mistaken that he did not fully believe this diverse family dynamics, because in the second part, the movie becomes a kind of trilogy. After a fairly strong start, the story begins to lose its effect when it extends beyond the family home, as the dramatic effect of the drama that has already been rather stable has increased unnecessarily. I believe that the author intended to give the narrative an active form, but in this way it loses the focus on the dynamics of the character. Because of that, characters who have the potential, like Nile or Iv, become nothing more than a one-dimensional worried person.
Lukas Hedges, like Timothy Shalame, is one of the best young actors seen in Manchester by the Sea, Boy Erased or Three Billboards. His performance, along with the excellent Julius Roberts, is strong enough to give a mother-son relationship more than enough tension, which is the driving force of the film. As for the side roles interpreted by Courtney B. Vance and Kathryn Newton, they are more than qualitative to be pushed into the other.