The Son Review

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Teacher Olivier stalks Francis, a young lad in his Carpentry class, but he has a secret tragic reason.


Making abrasive use of a stalking, hand-held, in-your-face camera, this is an uncompromising study of how inarticulate working males deal with overwhelming emotion.

Initially, we watch Olivier (Olivier Gourmet) pursue Francis (Morgan Marinne), a teenager in his carpentry class, with growing concern as to his motives. But once their relationship is established, the focus shifts to how these comparative strangers are going to cope with the tragedy that unites them.

Given the current concerns about paedophilia, this determinedly downbeat drama is bound to cause a commotion. But it’s most likely to irk critics and punters with its refusal to delve beneath the surface of its outwardly unsympathetic characters.

Yet, as with their 1999 drama Rosetta, the Dardennes have produced a film that has both the uneasy tension of a thriller and the awkward compassion of the best social realism.