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Son's review: 'A flawed film with a kind heart'

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The film is at its best when navigating how scary and slippery it can be to try to help a loved one who is expressing suicidal thoughts. their will. “Love is not enough,” Nicholas’ doctor tells his parents. It’s terrifying to consolidate when life tells us that love can cure all ailments.

Hence, Jackman and Dern overplaying their performances a bit, being emotionally disingenuous and leaning into gradual tics that seem inconsistent with McGrath’s more computerized approach. Kirby is pleasantly layered as a new young wife who seems to secretly resent the trouble Nicholas is causing for her newborn bubble, but perhaps the movie’s best performance is , comes in the form of a cameo by Anthony Hopkins as Peter’s father Anthony. As sinister as his days as Dr. Lecter.

Through Nicholas, Peter and Anthony, we get to see three generations of men struggling to speak the same lingua francaIt reflects a generational misconception about men’s mental health (Anthony dismisses today’s youth as “giggling cowards”) and its devastating consequences. It’s simplistic and the obvious foreshadowing makes the film’s ending a foregone conclusion. The ending, in particular, lacks solemnity as it’s pretty obvious what’s about to happen.

Even The Sun feels short-lived visually, but The Father’s excellent production design, framing, and direction, like its dementia-suffering protagonist, make it seem disorienting and claustrophobic. It’s even more disappointing when you remember how it helped you feel. There’s a fairly drab color palette of dove grays and chalky blues, and almost uninspiring staging choices. There’s a heavily worn, brooding score that strips away any dramatic tension, and coupled with some historical acting at the end of the film, it’s how well Hugh Jackman delivers as a man whose life is on the brink of ruin. It makes me think about how bad education went badly overlooked in 2019.

That’s not to say Son is an unmitigated disaster, or even something that feels like Oscar’s fancy bait. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case.


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