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#TIFF18 Review: Ben is Back

September 9, 2018

By John Corrado

★★★½ (out of 4)

When Ben (Lucas Hedges) cuts out of rehab to return home for Christmas, his mother Holly (Julia Roberts) agrees to let him stay the night despite disasters over the past two holidays, but she goes into panic mode and tries desperately to help him stay clean overnight.

Written and directed by Peter Hedges, who guides his son Lucas to an awards-worthy performance as a young addict, Ben is Back is an intense and powerful film that really draws us into the world of this dysfunctional family over a 24 hour period, while allowing for moments of both disarming humour and gutting drama. Julia Roberts gives it her all as a mother trying desperately to save her son, while coming to terms with the fact that she might not be able to.

Holly (Julia Roberts) and Ben (Lucas Hedges) in Ben is Back

Public Screenings:

Saturday, September 8th – 6:30 PM at Princess of Wales

Sunday, September 9th – 9:30 AM at Elgin Theatre

The 2018 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6th to 16th.

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