The Son (2002)
A divorced carpentry instructor at a vocational training center finds his life turned upside down by the arrival of a mysterious student. (New Yorker Films)
Cast and Information
AKA: Le Fils
Where to Stream
The Son belongs to 46 collections
1. 21st Century Top 250 (collaborative: moderated by dardan - 49 stars)
2. Netflix Instant (collaborative: moderated by somnivore - 29 stars)
3. They Shoot Pictures 1,000 Greatest Films (2014 revision) (collaborative: moderated by Jehan - 27 stars)
4. They Shoot Pictures 1,000 Greatest Films (2017 revision) (collaborative: moderated by iconogassed - 22 stars)
5. They Shoot Pictures' Recommended Viewing (collaborative: moderated by Cinephile - 19 stars)
6. Best of criticker: Drama (collaborative: moderated by avgcrtckr - 18 stars)
7. Coming Of Age (collaborative - 16 stars)
8. They Shoot Pictures 1,000 Greatest Films (2013 revision) (collaborative: moderated by rant1229 - 16 stars)
9. Metacritic - Universal Acclaim (collaborative: moderated by sengir - 14 stars)
10. They Shoot Pictures 1,000 Greatest Films (2020 revision) (public: djross - 14 stars)
11. Doubling The Canon (collaborative - 13 stars)
12. Harvard University's Suggested Film Viewing List: Narrative Films (collaborative: moderated by dardan - 12 stars)
13. Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films (collaborative - 10 stars)
14. The Best of the Decade: An Alternative View (collaborative - 9 stars)
15. Best of criticker: Mystery (collaborative: moderated by avgcrtckr - 8 stars)
16. Skandies (collaborative: moderated by toro913 - 7 stars)
17. TSPDT 21st Century's Top 250 Most Acclaimed Films (2010) (collaborative: moderated by PeaceAnarchy - 6 stars)
18. TSPDT 21st Century's Top 250 Most Acclaimed Films (2012) (collaborative: moderated by PeaceAnarchy - 6 stars)
19. Ekşi Sinema "Alternatif" Top 250 (collaborative - 6 stars)
20. They Shoot Pictures: Top 100 Films of the 21st Century (collaborative: moderated by CCLZA - 5 stars)
21. Cinemag's 100 Greatest Movies of the '00s (collaborative: moderated by hristos - 5 stars)
22. Doubling The Canon (2010 update) (collaborative: moderated by MMAlpha - 5 stars)
23. Slant Magazine's Best of the Aughts (collaborative: moderated by theficionado - 4 stars)
24. Cannes 2002 Official Selection (collaborative: moderated by djross - 3 stars)
25. Sight & Sound's Films of the Decade (00-09) (collaborative: moderated by CCLZA - 3 stars)
26. Little to no plot (collaborative: moderated by juandr - 3 stars)
27. TSPDT 21st Century's Top 250 Most Acclaimed Films (2011) (collaborative: moderated by PeaceAnarchy - 2 stars)
28. Cannes: Best Actor (Prix d'interprétation masculine) (collaborative - 1 star)
29. Doubling the Canon (2011 update) (collaborative: moderated by MMAlpha - 1 star)
30. A Year of Essential Cinema (collaborative: moderated by Ibetolis1 - 1 star)
31. They Shoot Pics (TSPDT) 2013 new additions (collaborative: moderated by avgcrtckr - 1 star)
32. Directed by siblings (collaborative: moderated by iconogassed - 1 star)
33. Coheed's Celluloid Pit (public: Coheed - 1 star)
34. Best of criticker: 2002 (collaborative: moderated by avgcrtckr)
35. TSPDT Top 150 Most Acclaimed Films of the 21st Century (2017) (collaborative: moderated by arrow-s)
36. Paste Magazine's 50 Best Movies of the 2000s (collaborative: moderated by MacSwell)
37. NOG TE ZIEN (public: lockstock)
38. director marathon (public: MartinTeller)
39. 2002: Year in Review (public: polanski28)
40. Zevahir (Ocak '13) (public: parcaliham)
41. Filmspotting Ratings Project: Week 13 (public: PeaceAnarchy)
42. List: Filmspotting Ratings Project - Communal Watchlist (public: KasperL)
43. Movies to See: Drama (public: Lord Moe)
44. 5x10 Project (public: kendell)
45. Best Films I Haven't Seen (public: kendell)
46. on PLEX (public: ozdemibr)
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The tension is always present, thanks to the restrained but very physical performance of Gourmet, the deliberate pacing of story information, and tight, menacing camerawork. The action is gripping because we long to get inside Olivier's head, a character who is some balance of wounded and dangerous, and we don't know where the balance will fall. Perhaps at the end we don't know much more, but we know enough. A satisfying film from the Dardennes, who always seem to make so much out of so little.
In their films, the Dardennes are most interested in detailing an encounter with an other, with someone or something outside oneself. The Son accomplishes this through the protagonist Olivier. The film's style keeps us insulated in his narrow and uncertain world. There remains throughout a strange otherness to the boy's character, an otherness that destabilizes what we know (or think we know about Olivier). This brilliantly creates tension and makes the conclusion that much more compelling.
The close focus on the instructor, his routines, and peripheral glances at his emotional state give the film an incredible intensity and the things that are revealed make one genuinely question how events will unfold. The Dardenne brothers really now how to extract genuine emotional impact without creating absurd melodrama. I was pretty blown away.
Yet another Dardennes subtle masterclass on human nature.
OK, though the psychology is all-encompassing here and is laid on a bit thick. Should have been more subtle and natural-like.
so economical in editing and exposition, so relentless in motion and physicality; the intensity never slackens. as with bresson the physical is the spiritual: the verité seems elemental, divorced from intentionality, but it's stealthily composed to make themes and emotions tactile, imagery arising from the mundane. it begins, cuts and ends when it must, and the wordless finale--unresolved but tentatively gesturing toward the possibility of closure and grace--is something holy. a perfect film.
It's a subtle depiction of sorrow, anger and (thoughts of) revenge: the human nature is closely -- not morally -- observed. The premise is quite trivial, but the execution, somehow both fast-paced and patient, is absorbingly authentic.
Left me shaking after seeing it. This film is a shattering and physical rapprochement between the desire for vengeance and the need to forgive. That's probably why most American critics didn't understand it. A profoundly moral film, not least because it depicts morality as a constant struggle.
|Average Percentile 70.11% from 596 Ratings|