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The Son


Price: $19.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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$19.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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The Son + L'enfant (The Child) + La promesse (Criterion Collection)
Price for all three: $46.08

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Product Details

  • Actors:  Morgan Marinne, Isabella Soupart Olivier Gourmet
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: New Yorker
  • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2004
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001JXP16
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,734 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Son" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interview with the Dardenne Brothers
  • Interview with Olivier Gourmet
  • Still gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The brothers Dardenne craft lean, unfancy movies, full of ordinary people, with no special effects--but the emotional impact of their movies (which include the superb "La Promesse" and "Rosetta") is devastating. In "The Son", a carpentry teacher named Olivier (Olivier Gourmet) accepts a new student into his class after having first rejected him; it is soon revealed that this new boy, Francis, is responsible for the death of Olivier's son. But Olivier takes Francis under his wing--is Olivier planning on taking revenge? Is this a phenomenal act of compassion? Is he simply tormenting himself? The movie watches Olivier engage in his daily tasks without comment, yet every scene is almost unnervingly dense with emotion (it's no wonder that Gourmet won the Best Actor award at Cannes for this performance). "The Son" builds complex and potent feelings from utterly mundane moments. It's simply an astonishing feat of moviemaking. "--Bret Fetzer"

Amazon.com

The brothers Dardenne craft lean, unfancy movies, full of ordinary people, with no special effects--but the emotional impact of their movies (which include the superb La Promesse and Rosetta) is devastating. In The Son, a carpentry teacher named Olivier (Olivier Gourmet) accepts a new student into his class after having first rejected him; it is soon revealed that this new boy, Francis, is responsible for the death of Olivier's son. But Olivier takes Francis under his wing--is Olivier planning on taking revenge? Is this a phenomenal act of compassion? Is he simply tormenting himself? The movie watches Olivier engage in his daily tasks without comment, yet every scene is almost unnervingly dense with emotion (it's no wonder that Gourmet won the Best Actor award at Cannes for this performance). The Son builds complex and potent feelings from utterly mundane moments. It's simply an astonishing feat of moviemaking. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

The film is subtle but also absorbing.
"generalenquiries3"
I found myself constantly trying to double guess how it would end and getting it mostly wrong, so that is a good thing.
Tommy Dooley
It also seems the cameramen attended the Blair Witch school of cinematography (if it can be called that).
"kukuruku"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Alex Udvary on June 21, 2005
Format: DVD
I warn you, please do not read any of the reviews about this movie until you have seen it. I will not describe the plot to you because I feel it is best to walk in cold. The movie is complex with emotions and a major plot twist that is better left unsaid.

The movie was directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and brother Luc Dardenne. It was nominated at the Cannes Film Festival for the top prize, the Golden Palm, and was awarded "Best Actor" to Olivier Gourmet who plays Olivier in the film. Also, Morgan Marinne, who plays the young boy, was nominated for a Cesar Award (the equivalent of the Oscar in France) for "Most Promising Actor".

"The Son" tackles some pretty big topics but handles them in a sincere way. We come to believe in these characters, especially Olivier, even though we are not quite sure where this film is headed. Olivier has two sides to him, on one hand he seems like a nice guy and on the other seems malicious. The big subject here is forgiveness. How far would we go to understand those who have caused you harm? But, I've said too much. I realize this is a very vague review, but after you've seen the movie you will thank me.

Here is a movie I recommend to all those who are interested in foreign films and are sick of the big budget brain dead Hollywood films being released this time of year.

I want to say one thing about the film's ending. After watching it some may feel it ends too abruptly. It does not. The movie ends at just the right moment. There is nothing else that could have been added. We know all we need to know about where these people are headed. Please do not complain about the conclusion.

Bottom-line: Subtle, powerful film that seems to sneak up on you. We are never quite sure where the film is going to take us but it manages to deal with its material in a convincing way.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mithridates VI of Pontus VINE VOICE on August 13, 2010
Format: DVD
The Belgian Dardenne brothers (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne) are renowned (mainly in Europe) for their intense minimalist dramas. Following on the success of Rosetta (1999) which won the prestigious Palm d'Or and La Promese (1996), the brothers embarked on the rigorously stylistic Le Fils (2002).

I must issue a warning for readers: any mention of the plot ruins this film. Everything is a spoiler! This is true since only view of the world the audience sees is through (well over the shoulder) the eyes of the emotionally restrained main character, Oliver (Olivier Gourmet -- won Best Actor at Cannes for this role) and main narrative threads are only slowly revealed by him.

The briefest summary I can give without completely spoiling this wrenching emotional experience is this: Olivier, who works teaching carpentry to male teenagers (many are delinquents seeking a vocation), develops an obsession with one of his charges Francis (Morgan Marinne).

The reason for his behavior is revealed half-way through the film. Le Fils also employs an intense, and occasionally nauseating, cinematography. This might seem surprising and even somewhat distracting in a movie with very little action, however, the Dardenne brothers use this style to adeptly create extreme naturalism. This is further facilitated by the absence of a film score and the presence of Olivier in every frame. All in all, these choices hypnotically draw the reader into Oliviers world -- we see every minute emotion his stoic face betrays, his every inflection speaks volumes, his every action -- even the most routine and every deviation from the routine -- reflect his emotional state. However, this intense character study is only for the most stalwart of movie goers.

Le Fils is a masterpiece.
Read more ›
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "generalenquiries3" on April 6, 2004
Format: DVD
This is an excellent but sadly neglected French film.
The cast, Olivier Gourmet, as the Carpentry Teacher and Morgan Marinne, as his student, are routinely excellent.
As is the story and direction, by the Dardenne brothers who have come up with a strikingly original film.
The story, of Olivier, a Carpentry teacher who teaches teenage
offenders picks up when we learn that his latest student is responsible for the murder of Olivier's infant son in a robbery.
The convicted fellon, Francis, now being rehabilated with a trade, is a gentle, quiet boy, but all the same we view him threw Olivier's eyes, detached, ambivalent but with deep suspicion.
Does Olivier intend revenge or is he only seeking answers.
He becomes so close to the boy that Francis asks Olivier innocently, if he'll become his guardian.
The denouement of this movie, where the main two characters travel alone to a deserted timber yard, is wonderfully handled. It will keep you guessing right to the end.
A fantastic film, expertly produced, excellently acted.
The film is subtle but also absorbing. A real must see!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 12, 2004
Format: DVD
THE SON is a quiet film that ends up shouting its agony through silence. Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne have filmed what at first appears to be just an ordinary working class man's life (Olivier, a carpenter with apprentices, played with subtle perfection by Olivier Gourmet), following it closely, slyly introducing Olivier's ex-wife (Isabella Soupart) with whom he no longer has contact save for a tragedy they share, and then darkens the picture with the presence of a 16 year old apprentice Francis (Morgan Marinne) who we instantly know has some mystery behind him. Olivier watches the boy's every move, discovers that the boy has just been released form prison where he was incarcerated since age 11 for theft and murder. Olivier realizes this is the boy responsible for his son's death five years ago and he takes Francis under his wing, his motivation remains unsure until the film's surprising end. This is verismo at its peak - just an emotionally charged story, simple, without accoutrements. There is no music soundtrack, only silence and very very little dialogue. But because of this starkness, the significance of the movie is all the more powerful. Perhaps this film is not for everyone: patience and a parcel of time are required to savour it. But THE SON is one of those films that stays in you gut long after the viewing.
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