You Will Be My Son – review

Gilles Legrand's soapy drama is all a bit absurd, but its absurdity is handled with some style

This film may be preposterous and soap-operatic, but director Gilles Legrand hammers it home with some storytelling gusto, and there's a richly enjoyable central performance from Niels Arestrup, the only possible actor for this role. Its story concerns a French chateau andvineyard ruled over by mercurial old wine-lover Paul de Marseul (Arestrup). Afraid of death, Paul is increasingly contemptuous of his own son Martin (Lorànt Deutsch), a milksop – so he thinks – with no passion for wine. Instead, Paul conceives a capricious, fatherly love for Philippe (Nicolas Bridet), the son of his estate manager François (Patrick Chesnais), because Philippe has a natural flair for the business. It's all a bit absurd, but Legrand handles the absurdity with some style, and there is something clever in making an apparently minor character responsible for a major narrative flourish.
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