Florian Zeller released his directorial debut, The Father, in 2020, which was a deeply moving and moving story about the loss of his family and those around him. The Father earned Zeller and his co-writer Christopher Hampton an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (based on the play Le Pere, which Zeller also wrote), and Anthony Hopkins his second Oscar for his portrayal of the title character.
Zeller was selected for his second film by The Father, followed by Le Pere (The Father) and Le Fils (The Son), which never felt genuine and neglects the humanity that made Zeller such a genius.
Nicholas Miller (Zen McGrath) declares that he no longer wants to live with his mother Kate (Laura Dern) but rather with his father Peter (Hugh Jackman), who is living with his new partner Beth (Vanessa Kirby) and their new baby. Nicholas has been absent from school for over a month, instead of walking around the streets of New York City all day.
Nicholas is in a deep depression that he wants to shake somewhat, and that Peter wants to avoid, assuming everything will go smoothly eventually, despite the constant warning signs and Nicholas' statements that he doesnt feel right. Nicholas is throwing red flags everywhere, while his family just waits for Nicholas to return to the normal, self-assured self-assured self-assured self-assured self-assured self-assured self-assured self
The Son, unlike Zoller's Hopkins character in The Father, focuses on the family and how Nicholas' suffering affects them with care and understanding.
Peter meets with his father Anthony (played by Hopkins), and it's clear that Peter is still a resentful narrator of his own son. Anthony adds that Peter should just fucking get over it.
The Son's performance is bleak, but Kirby's portrayal of Nicholas adds to the story in a shambles. If we had to overlook Chekov's dramatic methods, the worst might still happen.
The Son tells the audience how they should feel, whether it's directly through dialogue, or Hans Zimmer's grandiose score that builds or tears down the audience at their will. Nicholas begins to feel trapped even if it's not in the way that Zeller intended.
The Son is attempting to convey the horror of depression, the unpredictability of such a mental state, and how it may be unreported for those who suffer through it, and yet Zellers overblown direction and script that feels more alien than genuine, a somber affair without the emotional impact that a story like this deserves.
The Son will be released in theaters on November 11th.