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The Son [Import]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Olivier Gourmet, Morgan Marinne, Isabella Soupart, Nassim Hassaïni, Kevin Leroy
  • Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
  • Writers: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
  • Producers: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Arlette Zylberberg, Denis Freyd
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: New Yorker Video
  • Release Date: May 25 2004
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001JXP16

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By peter on June 21 2004
Format: DVD
This is a marvellous film. For me anyway, it constitutes a masterpiece. This is certainly not a film for anyone looking for easy excitement. As the central protaganist slowly comes to realise, meaning is something that reveals itself after a great deal of attentiveness and work. The meaning is in the attentiveness and patience to detail, and there is certainly plenty of detail in this finely crafted work. It is this description of the ordinary that constitues its deeply spiritual core. There is revelation at the end, but it is a quiet, understated yet realistic opening out to a greater awareness.
In a word, the film deals with such issues as anger, revenge, hurt, incomprehension, and maybe more importantly, it is a subtle study of the often mysterious workings of patience, understanding, love and forgiveness. The graphic on the DVD jacket foregrounds very well one of the central metaphors of this film, namely, that we all need to find, from somewhere, the grace and humility needed to carry one's cross through life. This is definitely a film to be savoured more than once.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shashank Tripathi on July 17 2004
Format: DVD
With some staggery candid camerawork and next-to-none minimalistic soundtrack, which is no doubt rather demanding on the senses, The Son manages to lay a gruelling texture of moral dilemma and the intrigue that goes with it.
Olivier Gourmet plays a carpenter, with an uncanny ability to judge the metric distance between any two points on a board, perhaps a metaphor for his character's moral precision. (I have never seen Gourmet before, but if wins awards, I will know exactly why.)
This carpenter develops a liking to a younger apprentice. It's eventually revealed that this liking is linked to a tragedy in the past, that continues to cast a pall over several of the film's characters. I will not not dilvulge the exact nature of that tragedy, that'd spoil the enigma, but the film is relentless in outlining its ramifications -- the angst, guilt, confusion, and how the carpenter finds himself both drawn to and repulsed by the youngster.
The overall ambience of the film may be bleak and murky, but its pervasive human spirit is very rewaring for all the patience it demands. Not recommended for casual filmgoers, but a very meditative example of arthouse for the more discerning eye.
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1 of 1 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tsuyoshi on April 3 2004
Format: DVD
A film from Beigium directed by brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne ("Rosetta"). Like Rosetta, "The Son (Le Fils)" explores the emotional turmoil of the protagonist, and watching the process would be torment to some people. Still, great acting of Oliver Gourmet is so impressive that those fans who respect the realistic approach to human behavior will be satisfied with the end result.
Olivier (Olivier Gourmet) is working at a carpentry school, but when a new student Francis is sent to the class, he starts to act a little strangely. He is clearly interested in Francis, but he is also afraid of having it known by the others. But he still keeps on peeping at him from behind the wall, not knowing what to do with himself. But why?
The reason is revealed after 30 minutes (and if you don't want to know it, skip this paragraph). The fact is, Olivier knew Francis killed his son. Still. Olivier takes Francis as a new student, teaching the craft of carpenrty works. Laconic Francis (not knowing the identity of Olivier) begins to feel attached to the teacher, but ... what is Olivier really thinking about? Revenger? Forgiveness? Or he does not know his true mind either?
"The Son" goes on like this, without superfluous dialogues, shot with a hand-held camera. Each take goes on very long, sometimes several minutes without cut, and often the image is shot behind the head of Olivier, as if letting us share his viewpoint. Evidently the directors did thorough rehearsals before shooting, because each shot is realized with the calculated movement of camera.
But the real virtue of the film lies in Olivier Gourmet (seen also in "Read My Lips" and others), who gives a terrific acting full of nuance and emotion.
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