7.6/10
8,567
75 user 90 critic

The Son (2002)

Le fils (original title)
A joinery instructor at a rehab center refuses to take a new teen as his apprentice, but then begins to follow the boy through the hallways and streets.
10 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Olivier Gourmet ... Olivier
Morgan Marinne Morgan Marinne ... Francis
Isabella Soupart Isabella Soupart ... Magali
Nassim Hassaïni Nassim Hassaïni ... Omar
Kevin Leroy Kevin Leroy ... Raoul
Félicien Pitsaer Félicien Pitsaer ... Steve
Rémy Renaud Rémy Renaud ... Philippo (as Remy Renaud)
Annette Closset Annette Closset ... La Directrice du Centre
Fabian Marnette Fabian Marnette ... Rino
Pierre Nisse ... Apprenti Soudeur 1
Stephan Barbason Stephan Barbason ... Apprenti Soudeur 2
David Manna David Manna ... Apprenti Soudeur 3
Abdellah Amarjouf Abdellah Amarjouf ... Apprenti Soudeur 4
Jimmy Deloof Jimmy Deloof ... Dany
Anne Gerard Anne Gerard ... La Mère de Dany (as Gérard Anne)
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From The Directors Of "La Promesse" and "Rosetta". See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Diaphana [France]

Country:

Belgium | France

Language:

French

Release Date:

9 October 2002 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

El hijo See more »

Filming Locations:

Liège, Wallonia, Belgium See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,048, 12 January 2003

Gross USA:

$70,262

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,057,439
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chosen by "Telerama" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2002 (#03). See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: The Best Films of 2003 (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intelligent, humane but hard to watch
12 November 2008 | by paul2001sw-1See all my reviews

How do you make a film to capture the mindset of a stalker; or of an uncertain individual, sizing up an unknown enemy? The Dardenne brothers' solution in this movie is to shoot almost the entire film over the shoulder of its principal protagonist, giving the audience the same view, the same sideways glances and stolen observations, as the character. It's effective, but it doesn't make this the easiest movie to watch: at times it feels that everything you want to see is deliberately left out of shot. A film about a pair of fairly non-communicative people, it also contains almost no expository dialogue, so we are left to guess what each of them are feeling from their actions: in fact, as well as being terse or even silent, the characters are arguably people who don't really know what to feel any more. The film is thus an effective look at the bleakness of life in extreme circumstances, but again, this doesn't make it easy to relate to. The unusual method does bring some dividends: at first, it one thinks this will be a movie about a pervert, a mistake that owes everything to clichéd thinking and nothing to surprising honesty the directors and cast bring to this movie. In a sense, it's a film about the possibility of revenge, but with a more awkward, truthful and ultimately humane take on this notion than any you are likely to find in Hollywood. It's an interesting film, therefore, and deserving of praise; but not particularly fun to see.


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