The Son (Blu-ray)

Peter has his busy life with new partner Beth and their baby thrown into disarray when his ex-wife Kate turns up with their teenage son, Nicholas.

April 4, 2023 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

If you look down the list of Sir Anthony Hopkins Academy Award nominations, you’ll spy his latest win  for The Father. In it, he played an octogenarian with signs of dementia. His daughter, Anne (Olivia Colman), informs him she’s met someone and will move to Paris. This means she won’t be around to provide care, so he’ll likely have to go to a personal care facility. While I won’t spoil what happened there, the main bullet point of mine was to say that Hopkins reprises his Academy Award-winning role in writer/director Florian Zeller’s new film – The Son. What’s next – The Holy Spirit?

Nicholas Miller (Zen McGrath) is a teenager who’s been skipping school. When his mother, Kate (Laura Dern) confronts him about it, he claims he’s depressed and years to live with his father, Peter (Hugh Jackman). This happens, but Nicholas has some deep-seeded resentment towards Peter’s new wife Beth (Vanessa Kirby). It becomes obvious to Nicholas that Peter’s life isn’t all its cracked up to be and that Beth adds an element of toxicity to it. Peter tries his best but Nicholas uses this situation to his advantage. There are other elements at play here, but the main gist of the film is the relationship between Peter and Nicholas. Troubled as it might be, there is a bond there and that’s the film’s saving grace.

This is Hugh Jackman’s movie. Despite the great ensemble cast, it’s he that steals the show. Maybe “steals” is the wrong term, but his performance is the best. Jackman has showed an incredible amount of range in his roles when he could have stuck with and settled with his role as Wolverine in the X-Men films. But he’s managed to impress me on multiple occasions with his talent. Not to be left out is another Academy Award winner in Laura Dern, while not as over the top as she was in Marriage Story (her winning role), it’s nice to see her play a more subdued character. While I felt The Father was the better film, this one has a few moments but is worth a viewing just for Jackman’s performance.

Video: How’s it look?

Sony’s Blu-ray offering of The Son is just as we’d expect – a nice-looking, well-rounded image that’s sure to satisfy. Granted, films like these aren’t really meant to showcase visuals, though detail is tack sharp, rather provide an introspective into the lives of the characters. That’s an odd way to phrase it and I was about to delete what I just wrote, but I’ll stand by it. The warm hues of the film work nicely with the movie and its overall tone. Technically speaking there’s nothing really wrong with the transfer, it delivers and viewers should be more than satisfied with the offering.

Audio: How’s it sound?

Say it with me, boys and girls…”dialogue-driven.” Yep. It is. If ever there was a film that stresses the importance of humans vocalizing their lines, it’s this one. Not to say that there aren’t a few moments where some ambiance kicks in – there are. Speaking of vocals (sorry, couldn’t resist) they sound great. Jackman’s deep, powerful voice works nicely here. It’s a good, solid offering that won’t shatter any windows, but will give the viewer what’s expected.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Bringing The Son to the Screen – The lone supplement on this disc is the standard “Making of…” featurette though this one focuses on, you guessed it, how this made it to the screen as interviews with the cast and crew tells us how (and why) the film was made.

The Bottom Line

There’s a lot to like in this film, but unfortunately there’s a lot to dislike as well. The performances are fine, Sony’s Blu-ray looks and sounds decent but I just felt that the overall mark was missed somehow. Fans might want to pick up a copy, but most likely recommended as a rental.

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