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The Son [Import]
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This film may not be for you. If you like films where some guys outrun Uzi bullets and do other impossible heroic feats, then don't waste your time here. Read morePublished on June 26 2004 by Dr Tathata
if you like this movie and gave it 4 to 5 stars, pls buy or rent the other wonderful (definitely) similar movie: 'dancer in the dark' to get the same shaky camera effect you like. Read morePublished on June 24 2004 by justareader
This movie is absolutely first-rate. There is not a speck of melodrama in it. Olivier Gourmet who plays the teacher is phenomenal. He's in every scene. Read morePublished on June 20 2004 by C. O. DeRiemer
What do we have here in this film? Face of guy in extreme close up. Back of guy in extreme close up. Back goes down stairs, which you sort of see in the background. Read morePublished on June 12 2004 by Yon
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