The Son of Joseph (Le fils de Joseph)

Critics Consensus

Son of Joseph bolsters some strong work from writer-director Eugène Green with absorbing performances and thought-provoking themes explored in a unique framework.



Total Count: 42


Audience Score

User Ratings: 156
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Movie Info

Eugène Green drops biblical motifs--Abraham and Isaac, Mary and Joseph--into this genuinely contemporary setting as if it were the most natural thing in the world, augmenting them with nods to crime films, Italian Baroque music, a Doisneau photograph, three 17th century paintings and an artificial way of speaking that is anything but current. The characters are positioned within the visual compositions and look directly into the camera, their diction flawless. Whatever needs saying--and that's a lot--they recite impassively, in declamatory fashion. Along the way, there are jabs at the literature milieu and trendy yuppies. A film where divine seriousness rubs against bizarre comedy, where theology meets caricature, an intriguing film, anachronistic and innovative in equal measure.

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Critic Reviews for The Son of Joseph (Le fils de Joseph)

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (11)

  • If "The Son of Joseph" believes fervently in the restorative properties of painting, music and architecture, it is no less sincere in its affirmation of the redemptive power of human relationships.

    Mar 16, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Green is on to his own thing, and while it takes some getting used to, it ultimately provides big rewards both in entertainment (I found it reliably warm and funny) and Stuff with a Capital S.

    Jan 13, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • "The Son of Joseph" can be trying in its whimsy, yet it builds to a lovely finale that evokes the Bible, the French Resistance and the surreal.

    Jan 12, 2017 | Full Review…
  • It's overlong, but behind its jabs at literary pretension, droll punchlines, and minimalist sight gags lies a search for the kind of guidance that parables used to impart.

    Jan 12, 2017 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Nothing buoys the occasionally claustrophobic Son of Joseph more than the radiant, freckled face of newcomer Ezenfis ...

    Jan 11, 2017 | Full Review…
  • The passionate heart of the action, Vincent's quest for emotional connection, involves his radical rejection of norms and proprieties and sparks the timeless fury of revolt; it's as thrilling as it is ingenious.

    Jan 9, 2017 | Full Review…

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