Directed by Florian Zeller (The Father (2020)) and starring Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables (2020); X-Men (2000); The Greatest Showman (2017)), Laura Dern (Jurassic Park (1993); Marriage Story (2019); The Master (2012)), Zen McGrath (Aloft (2014); Red Dog: True Blue (2016)) and Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman (2021); The Crown (TV series, 2016-2022)).

Drama; 123 mins; 12+

In Florian Zeller's Oscar-winning 2020 film The Father, starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman, he addresses the issue of Alzheimer's and the effect it can have on an individual and their close family. Here, in The Son, he adopts a similar topic, this time depression in a teenager, and examines how the person themself copes, as well as the effect on those around them.

Teenager Nicholas (Zen McGrath) lives in New York with his mother Kate (Laura Dern) who one day finds out that he has been missing school. She contacts the boy's father Peter (Hugh Jackman), a successful attorney from whom she is divorced and remarried to Beth (Vanessa Kirby) with whom they have an infant son.

Peter comes to talk with Nicholas and discovers that, in addition to playing truant, he has also been self-harming. Nicholas asks if he can move and stay with his father, which he does and enrols in a new local school. It may not be 100% a bed of roses, but Nicholas seems to be happier in himself... Nevertheless, he resents his parents for divorcing, and his step-mother for what he sees as breaking up his parents' marriage.

A powerful drama which has few cheerful moments; however, it brings the audience inside the mind of a teenager with depression. It also looks at things from a medical profession perspective, as well as from the parents' perspective who try to understand what he is going through and who try to help. One scene involves Peter meeting with his own father (Anthony Hopkins), in this way exploring his relationship with his own father - which is strained.

A heavy film examining what it is like to battle with a mental illness, made so with great performances by Huge Jackman and Lora Dern in particular, also the one scene with Anthony Hopkins.

Currently screening in Luxembourg at Ciné Utopia.