Olivier - meticulous, careful, even-handed - teaches carpentry at a vocational school in Liège. He's asked to take on Francis, 16, a new student. He declines the request then begins to watch, even spy on, the new lad. Olivier knows something. Later that day, he's visited by Magali, his ex-wife, who tells him that she's remarrying and is pregnant. Olivier seems to follow instinctive responses: "why today?" he demands of Magali; he continues to follow Francis; he changes his mind about enrolling the youth. What's the history between the two? After that becomes clear, what is it Olivier will do? Is this precise and measured carpenter in control of himself?Written by
Very demanding nuances were expected from the actors, especially in a movie thats so stripped of a leading musical score and filmed at such a deliberately halted pace. Thus must say the two male leads has successfully delivered performances which torched my views on what constitutes "good acting".
Overall, The Son piqued my interest enough to want to hunt down other Dardenne Bros pics. Being new to their works, the extremely voyueristic shots in this film revealed previously undetectable character depths, with such humanistic intuition, it was uncannily astonishing.
Pity the dizzying cinematography made me all tipsy(my seat was very much infront). The film could arguably have done with some judicious trimming as well. But that may be due to my comparatively lower tolerance for such glacial paced works. But agree with you'all that the abrupt end achieved the right note of hopefulness. Its openness was a very nice touch indeed.
To be fair, I think I would need more time to digest this film on tv. It is my belief that the wozzy nature of "handheld" flicks often play better in an intimate home setting than in a cinema, especially when viewed from unfavourable theatre vantage points like mine.
An acquired taste though The Son has been, I acknowledge its a very prized find. It at least has succeeded pointing me in a whole new direction of film appreciation.
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