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1,396 Ratings

The Son

Le fils

Belgium, France, 2002


Who is that boy named Francis? If Olivier refused to take him into his carpentry workshop, why has he taken to following him in the training centre, in the streets, in his building? Why does Oliver seem so interested in him and so afraid of him? By the acclaimed Dardenne brothers.

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The Son Directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2002 | Winner: Best Actor

2002 | Special Mention: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury

Village Voice Film Poll

2003 | 2 nominations including: Best Film

If The Son is the first among equals in the Dardennes’ remarkable body of work, it is because its dramatic crux most perfectly articulates the epic power ingrained in their determinedly and deceptively small-scale workings. Rigorously adhering to the circumscribed life, milieu, and field of vision afforded Olivier, eschewing any hint of allegorical or symbolic inflation, The Son moves organically into one of the richest evocations of worldly existence and experience achieved in cinema.
December 22, 2009
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If this film lacks the exquisite moral tension of Rosetta, one is nevertheless loathe to make the best the enemy of the good. The weight of the film is borne by the great Gourmet, so essential to both Rosettaand La Promesse, and happily the recipient of the acting prize at Cannes for his work here… As Léaud was to Truffaut, Wayne to Ford, Chishu Ryu to Ozu, so is Gourmet to these masterful and profoundly fraternal film-makers.
March 01, 2003
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[The Dardennes] ask us to discover certain crucial facts for ourselves: by the time we’re faced with questions of ethical and spiritual import, we’ve done enough groundwork to assess the evidence properly. Wisely, the camera stays close to Gourmet, with the result that, notwithstanding his subtle understatement and a relatively taciturn script, we’re privy to his every fleeting thought and nagging emotion. Never manipulative or sensationalist, the film is none the less deeply moving.
March 01, 2003
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