The Son suffers from second album syndrome in so far as it doesn’t quite match the brilliance of Florian Zeller’s Oscar winning film, The Father. Zeller explores the premise that memories are dangerous. How can you trust what you remember, when guilt is the driving force.
The simple premise of The Son is that Hugh Jackman’s character takes in his troubled son at the request of his ex wife. He then ignores all of the warning signs about his son’s troubled behaviour because he feels guilty about having a new family.
The Son features a stunning central performance by Hugh Jackman as a husband and father to a teenage son from his first marriage and a newborn in his current. He is masterfully supported by Vanessa Kirby (current wife) and Laura Dern (ex wife). How this film ties in with the Father is that it deals with guilt and flawed memories. There’s also a stunning scene with Anthony Hopkins who plays the father to Hugh Jackman’s character. This scene alone is worth watch the film for.
The Son was shot during lockdown and I think it benefits from the claustrophobia and sterilised atmosphere that defined that period. The ending is predictable but the journey towards it interesting. The only issue with the film is that female characters were quite simplistic whereas the male characters are very complex.
The Son is released in UK cinemas on 17 February.