|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||Ben is back|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 103 Min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Actually, Holly (Julia Roberts) would like to be very happy that her 19-year-old son Ben (Lucas Hedges) is unexpectedly at the door for Christmas. But there is also fear. Because actually, drug addict ben should be in a rehab clinic. In addition, Ben's sister Ivy (Kathryn Newton) and his father-in-law Neal (Courtney B. Vance), in particular, still have too many memories of last year's catastrophic Christmas and other disappointments. But Holly refuses to give up her son. She firmly believes that he will make it and that everything will be better this time. All she has to do is protect Ben from herself. But in the next 24 hours she has to grow beyond herself more than once…
With "Ben is back" Peter Hedges has staged a stirring family drama that offers heavy food but is still touching and entertaining at the same time. Of course, the whole thing sometimes seems somewhat constructed and scratches very close to the kitsch. But the great achievements of Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges alone prevent the whole thing from ever degenerating into tear gland pathos. At the same time, the director's sensitive staging prevents the audience from being pulled down completely, even in the most emotionally oppressive scenes, and from having to leave the cinema frustrated in the end.
He succeeds in this also by the excellently drawn figure of the mother, which represents a good identification figure for the spectator. While the whole world seems to have come to terms with the fact that Ben is a junkie who will always lie, steal and have a destructive effect on his environment because of his search, Holly is not willing to stop fighting for her son. She doesn't deny his addiction and everything that goes with it. She just doesn't want to give him up, no matter how bad the things she finds out about him are. The way Julia Roberts plays this is simply great and actually reason enough to buy a cinema ticket for this drama.
Sure, light entertainment looks different. "Ben is back" is hard stuff, but it's served amazingly digestible. Especially well done is also the ending, which actually leaves it to the viewer to interpret it as hopeful or hopeless. But the film manages one thing in any case: it never leaves its audience cold. A good movie with really great actors and therefore also: Absolutely worth seeing!
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