Elevation Pictures x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to win a Cineplex Run-of-Engagement Pass to see THE SON.
While married to Kate (Laura Dern), Peter (Hugh Jackman) has an affair with Beth (Vanessa Kirby), and leaves Kate and their son Nicholas. Years later, now living with Beth and their infant, Peter is surprised when ex-wife Kate (Laura Dern) shows up with Nicholas (Zen McGrath), who is now a teenager.
Beth has trouble communicating with Nicholas, who has skipped school for months and is troubled, distant, and angry. Peter decides to step up and take care of Nicholas as he would have liked his own father to have taken care of him. However, as he tries to juggle work, Beth, their child, and the offer of a longtime dream position in Washington, Peter loses sight of how to best deal with Nicholas’ problems.
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Enter for a chance to #win Cineplex Run-of-Engagement Passes to see #TheSon.https://t.co/ly5ny9yeBS pic.twitter.com/ONHTz3Tt2t— MR. WILL WONG 📸 (@mrwillw) January 12, 2023
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Elevation Pictures is releasing THE SON in select theatres across Canada on January 20, 2022.
(Photo/video credit: Elevation Pictures)
By David Baldwin
Peter (Hugh Jackman) has it all. He is a big shot attorney being courted by D.C. for a Senator’s election bid and his new wife Beth (Vanessa Kirby) has just given birth to a beautiful baby boy. Peter’s older son Nicholas (Zen McGrath) is not doing great though – he is not getting along with his Mom, Peter’s ex Kate (Laura Dern), is not going to school and is suffering from severe depression and anxiety. Hearing this, Peter agrees to let Nicholas live with him and his new family in the hopes that his mental health will improve. Except it does not, it just gets worse.
THE SON is easily the most divisive movie I have seen at TIFF ’22. The discourse, anger and debate this Movie has already sparked is not quite at the level of The Whale, but it is going to get so much more heated after its theatrical release this Fall. Your “enjoyment” (I used the term loosely because THE SON is not very fun to watch) will entirely hinge on your feelings around Mental Health, specifically when it involves a child. I do not want to spoil where the Film goes – the foreshadowing motifs sprinkled throughout are about as subtle as a fire alarm – rather, I want to note that it careens into bleak and unsettling territory.
What also works against the Film is the inevitable comparisons to The Father. That film, like THE SON, was adapted by Zeller and Christopher Hampton from Zeller’s play and both feature tremendously intricate Production Design and a tortured character at its centre. Whereas that film focused on Anthony Hopkins’ towering, extraordinary performance, this Film spends more time with Jackman than it does McGrath’s titular character. And when McGrath does show up, he is whiny, annoying, cold, distant, melodramatic and unrefined. Some have punched down and have suggested it as being laughably bad. While I myself did not think it is a great performance, I would caution before saying it was bad. McGrath plays Nicholas as a scared, anxious and confused teenager who does not understand the feelings he is experiencing nor the ability to process them, so it makes perfect sense why he is so melodramatic and all over the place.
Elsewhere, both Dern and Kirby are sidelined through far too much of the Film (though the latter still slays every time she appears) and an explosive two-scene cameo from Hopkins is so incendiary that the Film is never able to match its energy afterwards. Which is all to say, Jackman has a lot of heavy lifting to do. He is up to the task and delivers a very good, albeit aggravating performance. You will just want to reach out and shake him violently for his character’s arrogance and callousness towards his son’s precarious situation. Worse, his spectacular “Oscar” scene comes in the form of a 10-minute epilogue that does not really need to be there. Which is a hell of a shame.
THE SON screens as follows at TIFF ’22:
Mon, Sep 12 IN-PERSON Roy Thomson Hall 9:00pm
Tue, Sep 13 IN-PERSON TIFF Bell Lightbox 12:00pm
So relieved to have made it through the most hectic portion of TIFF ’22 in terms of star power and we look forward to enjoying the Festival for Movies! How about that?
Today was a notch quieter but still had some amazing encounters with a few Casts still in-town or debuting their Films tonight!
CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY
TIFF ’22 SURVIVAL PACK WINNER
So happy to have draw the winner of our annual TIFF Survival Pack winner with prizes from some of our official Festival partners! Congratulations, Melissa! You’ve been a supporter for many years and we appreciate you!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
An intimate audience at TIFF Bell Lightbox tonight at a special advance screening of AMC‘s new 10-episode saga THE SON, were in for a huge surprise tonight. The series’ star, legendary Irish-born, London-trained actor Pierce Brosnan appeared post-screening for a Q&A after a busy day of press in the city. Brosnan last visited Toronto TIFF 2014 for comedy The Love Punch. Since gracing the big screen in memorable roles in blockbusters like Mamma Mia!, The Thomas Crown Affair and his time as iconic James Bond, The Son marks his formal return to television after some 30 years away.
Also appearing at the Q&A were series producer Kevin Murphy and author/producer Philipp Meyer, whose best-selling novel provides the source material for the new series.
The ten-episode, one-hour drama traces the transformation of Eli McCullough (Brosnan) from good-natured innocent to calculating killer. He loses everything on the wild frontier, setting him on the path to building a ranching-and-oil dynasty of unsurpassed wealth and privilege. The series deftly explores how Eli’s ruthlessness and quest for power triggers consequences that span generations, as the McCulloughs’ rise to become one the most powerful family dynasties in Texas.
See the Trailer:
The Son sees Brosnan back in fine form as Eli McCullough, who can be kind and gentle as a grandfather, at once governing his home and business with an iron fist. Multi-dimensional, we also see him unflinchingly ruthless and violent to anyone who impedes on his domain.We cannot help but want to know about Eli‘s rise as the story cuts to his tragic earlier life (played by Jacob Lofland) where he is separated from his family to a life of captivity, to the present where his family is on the verge of an oil fortune – but at what cost this will come at remains to be seen.
While admittedly a bit of a slow burn, the series explores racial tensions between white society, Mexicans and Native Indians and the brutal, all-consuming battle for supremacy. All at once we see familial tensions between Brosnan‘s Eli and his two sons Peter (Henry Garrett) and Phineas (David Wilson Barnes), intrigued where the imminent rise of their empire will take them next.
Sipping on a glass of wine (he prefers red, by the way) on-stage, Brosnan in the Q&A moderated by Maclean‘s Elio Iannucci, talks to his experience filming in Texas in a role that was cast to Sam Neill. Brosnan says “It is like a 10-hour film. I read the book when it first came in 2013 and was bedazzled by the writing and glorious prose of Philipp.”. “I came into this role at the 11th hour so to speak. There was a certain image and reflection of what Texas was about but I was totally enamoured by the people there and totally intoxicated by playing the role of Eli in the company of these actors.”.
On The Son‘s parallels to the current political climate, he states “We certainly are in a turbulent time in history which is most unsettling. Yet as moviemakers and people doing entertainment, it is quite serendipitous and wonderful that we have story like The Son which reflects the times of 1915 and the prejudice and racism that happened then, which still continues to this day.”.
On the United States and President Trump he adds, “Politically, we have to have some grace under pressure and some humor although it is very difficult to hear what is being torn apart and pulled asunder by such a man.”.
Some images from the evening:
Brosnan x Team Mr. Will
AMC premiere THE SON on Friday, April 8, 2017.
All photos taken on the Nikon D3300, Selfie on the SAMSUNG S7.
More on THE SON here.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/AMC)
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