Like father, like son? The fact that "The Father" and "The Son" didn't fall far from the same tribe is obvious from the naming of the two films. In fact, the French writer Florian Zeller (43) is responsible for both as director and screenwriter and also delivered the underlying plays. What can be expected from "The Son" starring Hugh Jackman (54), which will be released in cinemas on January 26?
Things couldn't be going better for New York attorney Peter (Jackman). The career leaves nothing to be desired and he is happy with his partner Beth (Vanessa Kirby, 34). That changes suddenly when one day his ex-wife Kate (Laura Dern, 55) is at the door. She is worried about their son Nicholas (Zen McGrath, 20).
He skips school, is distraught and like a different person. He also no longer wants to live with his mother. Peter takes his son in and takes care of him devotedly. Kate and Peter are determined to do whatever they can to help their son. But will that be enough for a fresh start?
"The Son" has several things in common with Zeller's directorial debut, for which he received the 2021 Oscar for best adapted screenplay and Anthony Hopkins (85) the golden boy for best actor. On the one hand there is Hopkins himself: In "The Son" the world star again plays a father - that of Peter Miller (Jackman).
In addition, "The Son" also revolves around a mental illness/disorder: Son Nicholas suffers from severe depression and harbors suicidal thoughts. In "The Father", meanwhile, it was the title character's Alzheimer's disease that took center stage. For those who already saw the horrors of (sometimes their own) reality too closely in Zeller's haunting first work, "The Son" has to be prepared for a similarly heavy burden.
If you are wondering: No, the content of the two works is not connected, as Zeller made clear several times in advance. "It's not the same characters, not the same stories." Rather, "The Son" is part of a "spiritual trilogy" - based on his plays, which also include "The Mother". The common leitmotif is to fathom "how we deal with reality and pain."
At this year's Oscars on March 12, it is already certain that "The Son" will not be able to repeat the success of its spiritual father. The drama went without a nomination when it was announced last Tuesday (January 24).