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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 ›
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Believe me, I love slower paced independent films; I'm certainly not one of those short-attention spanned Americans that can't focus on any film for more than 10 seconds unless... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Follett R
One of my favorite French actors is Morgan Marinne. If you want moody in a film you want Morgan Marinne. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Jabo
This is a film from 2002 made in France and originally released as `Le Fils'. It tells the story of Olivier (Olivier Gourmet - great name that) who teaches carpentry at a centre... Read morePublished on May 9, 2013 by Tommy Dooley
As a movie buff for over 40 years, I can scarcely recommend another film so brilliantly directed. The plot, which is actually quite thick, is made to feel almost breezy, yet... Read morePublished on March 29, 2013 by Michael Materazzi
The appeal of this extraordinary film is almost entirely psychological. To appreciate it, you need to be the kind of person who enjoys watching others, attempting to figure out... Read morePublished on June 7, 2012 by wildwood
I bought this on the strength of reviews I'd read, and added it to a film library for students to watch outside school hours. Read morePublished on February 13, 2010 by Frenchprof
I found it interesting that a man, who hated the boy who killed his son, could have a change of heart after meeting him, and tutoring him for a while. Read morePublished on August 11, 2009 by Jeff Davis
I watched this film for the first time about two years ago for a French cinema course. At the time I liked the film, but, like the rest of the class, found it just a tad boring. Read morePublished on April 18, 2009 by Thomas McNeil
Schlumpy Olivier (Olivier Gourmet) is a carpenter who works for a school, where he apprentices teen boys who have recently been released from juvenile detention. Read morePublished on October 24, 2008 by Westley
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