Movie of the day: The Son


United Kingdom, 2022, Director Florian Zeller, Starring Hugh Jackman, Vanessa Kirby, Laura Dern, Anthony Hopkins, Zen Mcgrath, Hugh Quarshie, Running time 124′

Florian Zeller, the French playwriter and Academy award winner for Best Non-Original Screenplay for his previous film The Father, backs behind the camera with the adaptation of yet another chapter in his trilogy created for the theatre and performed all over the world (even by Isabelle Huppert at the Atlantic Theater in New York, where The Mother, the first in chronological order of the three plays, was staged in 2019). 

The core of The Son is still the tension that develops in family relationships or in trying to help our loved ones. And again we rely on a remarkable cast, perhaps even more important than the previous one, where the presence of Sir Anthony Hopkins, Oscar winner for Best Actor in a leading role and again called by the French writer’s for a “brief but significant” role. Hugh Jackman is the family man Peter, and Vanessa Kirby is his partner Beth, victims of an increasingly hectic life. Mainly because of the tumultuous succession of events triggered by the appearance of his ex-wife, Kate (Laura Dern), and their troubled teenage son (Zen Mcgrath), Nicholas. The boy is distant, always angry, and often absent from school, a demanding challenge for the parent, despite his efforts to be a better father and help his son. But also for the young actor who plays Nicholas, reported by the Artistic Director Alberto Barbera as “one of those destined to leave a mark.”

“France’s best playwriter along with Yasmina Reza” (according to L’Express) or “the most moving playwriter of our time” (according to The Guardian) wrote the screenplay with Christopher Hampton, who wrote The Father. The Son is  a “highly anticipated” movie that the author presents as “a deeply human story that connects us all…set in a vibrant and very much alive New York that is an important character of the movie.” “I hope this family’s journey will deeply move audiences”. He promised the audience  “warmth, compassion and vulnerability” and that we would feel like “calling family and friends to tell them they are completely loved and not alone.

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