The Son (Le Fils) (2003)

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Critic Consensus: Austere, finely crafted, and compelling.

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Movie Info

Olivier, a carpentry instructor at a vocational training center for troubled boys, has his world turned upside down with the arrival of Francis, a mysterious 16-year-old. Unbeknownst to Francis, a past tragedy, involving Olivier's son, connects him to his new teacher. When Olivier's ex-wife, Magali, is told of the boy's existence she is horrified. Olivier becomes obsessed, stalking the boy, furtively, while struggling to maintain a professional distance in his presence. As the secret that Bond's Olivier to the Francis is revealed, Olivier is thrown further into a conflicted world in which he is forced to take a journey of profound emotional and moral complexity.

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Critic Reviews for The Son (Le Fils)

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (19)

Fails to provide enough tension to draw us into what, at first, seems a properly chilling crime drama.

Apr 23, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4

If you have to pick between movies about the spiritual passion of tortured carpenters, make this the one.

Apr 2, 2004 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A substantial story about how one man handles his personal turmoil.

Sep 25, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

[Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's] most gripping film to date.

Jul 25, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/4

A miraculously straightforward drama of deep symbolism and lingering power.

Jun 12, 2003 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

It's spring-loaded with tension and driven by agonizing moral choice.

Apr 25, 2003 | Rating: A-

Audience Reviews for The Son (Le Fils)

½

Watching the Son was an extremely interesting experience. I knew nothing what the movie was all about, except that it was from the Dardenne brothers, which I have seen some of their works before, like Rosetta and Lorna. What I got from this movie was an interesting, unique, realistic piece of alternative cinema.It showed things the way they are. Nothing was exaggerated or dramatized. Even the camera angles were realistic in the way they followed the characters. It was quite difficult to pin-point exactly what made this movie so brilliant,but a lot relied on the main character, who was amazing. He expressed so well with his eyes, and every change in emotion was visible by the look in his eyes. Throughout the entire movie the camera was focused on him, and he carried the movie through.The Dardenne brothers are good in showing the everyday life in a beautiful poetic style. I am looking forward in seeing more of their works.

Daisy  Maduro
Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer

½

Well crafted slow examination of grief and male communication.

Gordon Anderson
Gordon Anderson

Super Reviewer

The events are simple. The emotions are hugely complex.

Robert Fearon
Robert Fearon

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "The Son", Olivier(Olivier Gourmet) is a carpentry instructor at a work center. At first, he decides against adding a new student to his class but a meeting with his ex-wife(Isabella Soupart) changes his mind. Olivier then becomes intensely curious about his new student...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"The Son" is a tense drama that is filmed with handheld cameras, so the viewer is looking at Olivier's point of view throughout the film. The Dardenne brothers do a very good job at capturing the complex emotions at play.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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