On February 23, Florian Zeller’s “Son” opens in Russian theaters, a great project with first-rate stars. Starring Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby and Zen McGrath. We tell you why you should definitely pay attention to this movie.
Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby and Zen McGrath are hard at work – The Son will definitely take pride of place in their acting filmographies. For his role in this project, Jackman received a Golden Globe nomination. Sir Anthony Hopkins deserves a special mention as the star of Zeller’s first film plays Peter’s toxic father. Many years ago, he made his choice between fatherhood and career and he never regretted it. His scene is one of the most powerful and violent in the film.
The screenplay for The Son is based on the second play in the family trilogy by Florian Zeller, a famous playwright. In writing the play that served as the basis for The Son, Zeller was inspired in part by events in his own life. “In terms of characters and situations, this is not my story,” he says, “but I did experience the emotions that are shown in it and I wanted to share them. Not because I like to talk about myself, but because many people are familiar with this problem. I wanted the topic of mental health to be more open.”
Recall that his first directing project “Father”, also based on his own work, was awarded two “Oscars”. The third movie will be called, you guessed it, “Mother.” All of these projects are powerful family stories that are inextricably linked with each other. But at the same time, each is a complete movie and it is quite possible to watch them separately.
The soundtrack for “Son” was written by the famous composer Hans Zimmer. Many viewers know him primarily from his work on Pirates of the Caribbean, Gladiator, and Interstellar. Zimmer’s signature style is always very recognizable, but this time he seemed to forget everything he’d done before and delivered the newest track. The sound of “Son” trembles and excites the viewer from the opening credits to the end. The soundtrack of this film is, in fact, a character apart.
“Son” is a story about how unbearable the job of being a parent is. A 24/7 unpaid job where every misstep you make lands your child in the psychologist’s office. This film talks openly and honestly about the mistakes we make over the years, about trauma, long-term depression, and the importance of working with your mental health. The producers knew that the project was not easy, so on the set of the film they closely monitored the mental state of the actors and members of the group; each of them had access to expert advice. The daily call sheets even included a link to an appointment form and a reminder that sessions are available at any convenient time and absolutely free.
According to Hugh Jackman, the provision of psychological assistance has become a truly effective measure: “Almost every day of shooting was hard. Emotions invaded all of us, not only the actors, but everyone on the set. I admired the producers’ decision to make help available to everyone who worked on the film. And it sounded not just like “I see it necessary – sign up”, but like “everything has already been paid for, please use it.” They understand that it can be difficult for some people to admit that they need help, that they are having a difficult time, that they are vulnerable. This is the culture of Hollywood and society in general, especially the male part. I am very proud to be part of a film that makes this issue a priority. Such actions shape a better future, this is a big step forward.”
The film had its world premiere on September 7, 2022 at the 79th Venice Film Festival. The picture was presented personally by director Florian Zeller, as well as the main actors – Vanessa Kirby, Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern. “Son” claimed the top “Golden Lion” award and received a ten-minute standing ovation after the show. Critics promised Hugh Jackman an Oscar nomination and called his performance in The Son an outstanding performance and “the best performance of his career.” Scholars overlooked Jackman, but this does not detract from his merits. “Sequel to the incredible film ‘Father’ with an outstanding performance by Hugh Jackman,” wrote JVS Media & Productions. “A drama about modern parenthood, where Hugh Jackman played the best part of him. Zeller managed to give Jackman an Oscar-worthy performance,” echoes film critic Anton Dolin. “A beautifully written, well written drama with a flawless performance, especially from Jackman,” says The Guardian. In general, we have not yet seen such a Hugh.