Unlike fictional familial relationships such as Uncle Scrooge and his three nephews in Ducktales, Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet’s characters in Beautiful Boy are based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff. The film chronicles the heartwarming story of how a father supports his son who struggles with a drug addiction.

Stories about father-son relationships can be even more touching than mother-daughter, sibling relationships (hello, Frozen) and romances, since you know how males are – they don’t talk about their feelings and put up this wall of toughness around them all the time. To have father and son open up to each other can make for truly moving scenes.

So here are the best father-son relationships we’ve seen in movies. Whether it’s because of an interesting dynamic, emotional revelations or just plain family bonding, we’ll always find these father-son relationships to be among some of the most memorable we’ve seen.

1. Darth Vader & Luke Skywalker (Star Wars series)

The most classic twist in film was found in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – when Darth Vader revealed that he was the father of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). That dramatic reveal was accompanied by Darth Vader’s leitmotif and an anguished cry by Luke Skywalker, although they didn’t have a lot of father-son bonding time in the films. I mean, one was a Sith Lord and the other was a Jedi Knight. It would never have worked out.

However, the father-son bond was strong enough to give Darth Vader the strength to defeat Emperor Palpatine. And ultimately, it was the love between them that redeemed Darth Vader in death. They have not have a lot of touch-feely moments, but their relationship had significant consequences for the rest of the Star Wars universe.


2. Indiana Jones & Professor Henry Jones (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)

One of the best parts about this 1989 Indiana Jones film was that Indy (Harrison Ford) got to meet his father, Professor Henry Jones (Sean Connery) – who was every bit as stubborn and boisterous as he was. It took their combined prowess to find the Holy Grail (the MacGuffin of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), but we have to admit their bickering caused just as many problems too.

What made their relationship so interesting was that they were so similar in character. You could see how they were related, but you could also see why their similarities made them argue so much. It was a fun dynamic to watch on screen – sadly, we only ever got to see it for one film.


3. Flint Lockwood & Tim Lockwood (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs)

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009) is one of the most underrated animated films out there (it spawned a sequel, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 in 2013) because it presented one of the most realistic father-son relationships out there. It featured aspiring inventor and techie Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) being brought up by his widowed, tech-illiterate father Tim Lockwood (James Caan). They had absolutely nothing in common.

While Tim never quite understood technology, he still tried his best to be supportive of his son Flint’s endeavours. The climatic scene where Tim has to email a file to his son is something that all technophobic parents can identify with – he literally doesn’t know how to do it. But it’s his love for his son that gives him the determination to resolve the issue and face his greatest fear, a computer. Don’t you wish you had a father who was as supportive as Tim?

Still brings tears to my eyes.


4. Marlin & Nemo (Finding Nemo)

We didn’t really see Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Alexander Gould) together that much in Finding Nemo (2003) – it was the sequel, Finding Dory (2016), that gave us more scenes of them together. But it was the opening scene that really broke our hearts and showed us why Marlin was so overprotective. He was psychologically scarred by his wife’s death and became overprotective of his son, Marlin.

So when we see Marlin later, he’s this panophobic (fear of everything) clownfish because of his experiences. But he’s willing to risk it all and confront everything that terrifies him when Nemo goes missing, which shows us just how much he loves his son.

What makes it all the more amazing is that they’re fish – not humans – yet this father-son relationship touches us just as much as if they were human.


5. Chris Gardner and Christopher Jr (The Pursuit of Happyness)

The father-son duo of Chris Gardner and son Christopher Jr were played by real-life father-and-son actors, Will and Jaden Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness. The biographical film about the homeless days of successful businessman Christopher Gardner really wrenched our hearts because we could see how hard Chris Gardner worked to take care of his son despite the fact that he was a homeless pauper.

Even though he put on a brave front, we could see how much of a toll it took on him – which parent would want their child to sleep in a public toilet? He never had to say anything – it was the look on his face that gave everything away. It also helped that Will Smith’s acting was bolstered by his actual relationship with his son, Jaden.


6. David Sheff and Nic Sheff (Beautiful Boy)

In Beautiful Boy, we see the strained relationship between father David Sheff (played by Steve Carell) and his son Nic (played by Timothée Chalamet) after the discovery of the latter’s drug addiction. Addiction of any sort is difficult enough for anyone, but it’s even worse when it’s substance abuse. What makes it worse is that David was a good and loving father – so it’s difficult for him to understand why his son, Timothée, fell victim to drug addiction.

But sometimes you can do everything right and things still go wrong. So it’s not just a journey of rehabilitation and recovery for Nic, but it’s also about the struggle to accept what has happened for his father, David.

Beautiful Boy. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Beautiful Boy. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Will their David and Timothee’s relationship withstand the trials they have to face? You could find out for yourself by reading the book that it’s based on, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction, or you could catch this Golden Village exclusive in cinemas for yourself! Steve Carell gives a masterful performance in his dramatic role as father David Sheff, while upcoming young star Timothée Chalamet (Interstellar, Call Me by Your Name, Lady Bird) handles himself superbly as son Nick Sheff.

Catch the stirring story of the Beautiful Boy and his father on screen soon! We hear it’s just the sort of film to catch in a Gold Class cinema, since you’d probably want a bit of space to yourself for all the tears that you’ll inevitably shed.


Credit: Golden Village Cinemas


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