Don Reviews "The Son"
Everyone has those films where the subject matter truly hits home: for me, the top three in that category would be abuse, interracial marriage, and divorce. The main film that stands out for me in that last category would be Kramer Vs. Kramer, and it has been that standard since its release in 1979. With “The Son” dealing with issues of the same types of themes, I was intrigued to see how it would stand up.
Florian Zeller (The Father) directs this film which stars Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Zen McGrath, Vanessa Kirby and Anthony Hopkins and is the story of seventeen-year-old Nicholas (McGrath), who is living with his mother Kate (Dern) after she and his father, Peter (Jackman) have gotten divorced. Peter is now remarried to Beth (Kirby), and the two have just had a newborn child. Nicholas asks Peter if he can move in feeling that a change may make his issues better, but with all of the dynamics of his life happening at the same time, this does not prove to be as easy as he thinks it will be.
The two things that really need to be focused on here are the script and the performances. The Son basically comes down Jackman, Dern, McGrath, and Kirby, and with award buzz for all of them I feel that at least some of it is justified. If there is a stand-out, I would have to go with McGrath with his performance as a teen dealing with divorce and mental issues. Jackman and Dern also do well, but I would not put this on par with some of their stronger performances. Good enough for a nomination, but not a win next to some of the others I have seen they would be up against.
The film itself barely clears two hours, but it keeps the pace moving nicely. What makes this film stand out from others of its type is how it deals with Nicholas’ mental issues, the divorce, and their new living arrangement which I feel they did a good job with in a way that really hits the emotional intensity in a great way. There are a couple of plot holes (which could keep the film itself from any nominations), but I did enjoy The Son and would recommend it as Saturday afternoon showing in the theaters.