New from Solzy at the Movies by Danielle Solzman: TIFF 2018: Ben is Back

Ben is Back delivers with a strong focus on a family as they welcome back their drug-addicted son home for the holidays.

There’s a strong emotional reaction to be had as one watches Holly Burns (Julia Roberts) as her eldest son comes home for the holidays.  As much as she hopes for the best as he makes a surprise appearance, she requires some pre-conditions for his return.  Even if it’s just for a day, there are rules to be followed on his part.

No mother should have to go through these trials. but Holly does and credit goes to Julia Roberts for such a strong performance that captures all of the emotions.  We don’t just watch how Ben’s drug problems affect his mom but also sister Ivy (Kathryn Newton), step-father Neal Beeby (Courtney B. Vance), and younger half-siblings, Lacey (Mia Fowler) and Liam Burns-Beeby (Jakari Fraser).

This film is beautifully directed by Peter Hedges.  The way the film is told is one that will surely provoke some strong emotions.  Rather than tell the story over a period of days or even years, Hedges sticks to a 24 hour period.  It makes for a strong and captivating story.

With the cast capturing the emotions of seeing a loved one struggling with addiction, Ben is Back tackles the subject in a compelling manner.

CAST:  Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges, Courtney B. Vance, Kathryn Newton, and Michael Esper

LD Entertainment, Lionsgate, and Roadside Attractions will open Ben is Back in theaters on December 7, 2018.


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