Movie Review: The Son

After reading some of the reviews for “The Son” I was stunned at the low 27% ratings for this movie. This film is very well acted and, is about a very important problem with young people in this country – depression. The Son is far from a great movie, but it is also far from worthy of a very low 27% rating. After reading one of the reviews, I was reminded of one flaw in the story that you could drive a truck through – which is very unfortunate because this one error takes too much away from the overall quality of the screenplay. This might explain some of the bad reviews, but despite this mistake – this is definitely not a bad movie.

The Son stars Hugh Jackman, who gives one of his very best dramatic performances, worthy of a Golden Globe nomination he received a few weeks ago. Jackman stars as Peter, the father of a troubled 17-year-old young man Nicholas, played by Zen McGrath. Peter divorced his first wife Kate, played by Laura Dern, and then has a son with his second wife Beth, played by Vanessa Kirby. Through it all, Nicholas is extremely depressed because he never adapted to his parent’s divorcing, and for this reason, his teen years are far more difficult for him than for other kids his age. Nicholas is also a very sensitive and delicate young man, never easy when trying to get through high school.

There are periods within this story, where the story reverts to too much dialogue-noise and not enough substance and detail about what Nicholas’ depression is all about – other than the fact that he greatly resents his father for leaving his mother and him for another woman and that he thinks he will never “measure up” to the success of his father. This mostly results in Nicholas not attending school, and in a severe and dangerous depression. This movie also stars Anthony Hopkins who plays Peter’s cruel father in only one scene, that is very well acted.

The huge hole in this script is when Nicholas tells his father that he found his gun in the laundry room – and despite this news, Peter does nothing to REMOVE the gun entirely from the house. Nobody would do something this stupid, considering the extreme circumstances. This is why screenwriting is the most challenging art form, for reasons like this one, because you cannot make a mistake like this. Screenwriting is also challenging for the time when the critics trash your movie, despite months and years of hard work.

What I find the most profound about the critics is that they give a well-acted and conceived story like this a 27% rating and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is in the 95% range. This is despite the hot-dog-finger-dancing, rubber-penis-fighting and dancing-plastic-forehead-eyes-head-ware. To say nothing of the giant bagel time portal. Can anything make sense in the movie industry again, after what happened in 2022? Just plain insane.

Due to the acting and extremely important story involved in The Son, I give it a solid 85% rating and a strong recommendation, despite that huge mistake in the story. This time around, the critics are very wrong.

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