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The Son (2002)

Cast: Olivier Gourmet, Olivier Gourmet, Morgan Marinne, more...
Director: Luc Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, more...
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: New Yorker Video
Genre: Drama, Foreign, France
Running Time: 100 min.
Languages: French
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Recently Rented By Cinenaut

This downbeat drama by acclaimed Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne bears a thematic and formal resemblance to their previous works, La Promesse and the Palme D'Or winner Rosetta. Dardenne brothers' regular Olivier Gourmet is in every frame as the stern Olivier, a carpenter who teaches the craft to teenagers seeking a vocation. Olivier's drab routine is interrupted by the enrollment of a new student, Francis (Morgan Marinne), who becomes the object of the carpenter's inexplicable obsession. Speaking with his ex-wife, Magali (Isabella Soupart), about his new charge, Olivier reveals the reason for his fixation: Francis was the young street tough who murdered their child years ago. Now out of juvenile prison, Francis seeks to start anew, and eventually even asks the flummoxed Olivier to become his guardian. Olivier withholds his knowledge from the oblivious Francis, even as a tentative relationship between the two develops. The tense scenario leads to a climactic confrontation at a lumberyard, as the past finally catches up with teacher and student. This rigorous and deliberately paced film played in competition at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, where Gourmet was awarded the best actor prize. ~ Elbert Ventura, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Not good by jarbomb July 21, 2004 - 1:12 AM PDT
4 out of 10 members found this review helpful
I cannot believe I wasted an hour-and-half of my boring life to watch someone else's even more boring life on screen. It's hard to imagine this film was included in Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival. I understand all the themes and emotional subtexts and mumbo-jumbo, but this movie is just plain crap. Not just crap but plain and dull crap. There's no background music and extremely minimal dialogue (and very uninteresting dialogue mind you). The plot is... well.. not much of one. Not to mention this film has one of the most inconclusive endings I have ever witnessed. This movie is supposedly driven by it's characters, but I felt they were just completely ordinary characters for a completely ordinary movie. The only thing that came off as interesting was the way the film was shot. But even the shaky camera technique lost all its fun by the end. There was a lot of praise and favorable word of mouth surrounding this movie, but I wound up severely disappointed. No entertainment value whatsoever.

More, Please by talltale May 27, 2004 - 3:07 AM PDT
10 out of 12 members found this review helpful
The Dardenne brothers make fascinating, if not fully formed, films. "Rosetta," "The Promise" and now THE SON are all worth seeing for intelligent viewers who appreciate thorny themes set in foreign locales. My problem with these two brothers' movies is that they never "end"; they simply stop. This is particularly troublesome with THE SON. A situation is built up beautifully, believably, richly. Then, it's not truly resolved. While some might say that I am asking for easy-out, Hollywood sort of dramaturgy, I don't think so. I am willing to take whatever the Dardennes dish out, but I think we audience deserve more. Narrative is so important to good moviemaking that a film like this one should simply continue. Gheesh: I guess I am asking for THE SON--Part Deux. Well, so be it. See what you think.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.07)
61 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2002
Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
Films That Make U Wish U Weren't born in the US
Alphabetical Order: Best Foreign Language Films that I've Seen

see all lists

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