The Son (film)

The Son

Original French release poster
Directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Luc Dardenne
Produced by Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Luc Dardenne
Denis Freyd
Written by Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Luc Dardenne
Starring Olivier Gourmet
Morgan Marinne
Isabella Soupart
Cinematography Alain Marcoen
Edited by Marie-Hélène Dozo
Archipel 35
Les Films du Fleuve
Distributed by Diaphana Films (France)
Release dates
  • 9 October 2002 (2002-10-09) (Belgium)
  • 23 October 2002 (2002-10-23) (France)
Running time
104 minutes[1]
Country Belgium
Language French
Box office $70,262[2]

The Son (French: Le Fils) is a 2002 Belgian-French mystery film directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.


Olivier, a carpenter by trade who teaches at a trades training center, knowingly takes on Francis Thorion, the murderer of his son, as an apprentice. Francis is unaware of his connection with Olivier from five years ago. Olivier, tormented by the loss of his son and his separation from his wife, develops a slight obsession with Francis. He stalks him home, steals his keys and explores his apartment, whilst slowly discovering more about the boy. Francis looks up to Olivier, seeing him as a surrogate role-model. With this on his mind, Olivier is ultimately torn between hatred for the murderer of his son and the moral ambiguity of accepting this child from a broken home and disillusioned past.



Luc Dardenne wrote a comment about The Son in his book Au dos de nos images. Magali, the ex-wife of Olivier is very astonished that Olivier took Francis, the murderer of their son, into his workshop . She says to Olivier, "Nobody would do that." He answers, "I know." And she replies, "Then, why do you do it?" He answers, "I don't know." And Luc Dardenne wrote "We don't know either."[3]

Critical response

The Son received mostly positive reviews from film critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 88% approval rating, based on 57 reviews, with an average score of 7.7/10. The site's consensus reads, "Austere, finely crafted, and compelling.".[4] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 86, based on 18 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[5]

Awards and nominations

Olivier Gourmet received the Best Actor Award at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival for his portrayal of the tormented Olivier.[6]

The film received the André Cavens Award for Best Film by the Belgian Film Critics Association (UCC). Roger Ebert ranked the film No. 7 on his list of the best films of the decade (2000–2009).[7] Paste Magazine named it one of the 50 Best Movies of the Decade (2000–2009), ranking it at #8.[8]

See also


  1. "LES FILS - THE SON (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 2003-01-22. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
  2. The Son at Box Office Mojo
  3. French: Il y a quelque chose d'impossible dans ce que fait Olivier. Magali a sans doute raison de lui dire: 'Pourquoi tu le fais alors?', et il a sans doute raison de lui répondre: 'Je ne sais pas.' Nous non plus, on ne sait pas. Quoted from Au dos de nos images, Seuil, Paris, 2005 (first published) and 2008 (pocket book), p.127. ISBN 978-2-7578-0891-7
  4. "The Son (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  5. "The Son". Metacritic.
  6. "Festival de Cannes: The Son". Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  7. "The best films of the decade". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 11 July 2010.
  8. "The 50 Best Movies of the Decade (2000–2009)". Paste Magazine. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 7/20/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.