trailer and film previews with Hugh Jackman

After the extraordinary success of The Father – Nothing is as it seemsa revelation film winner of two Academy Awards, Florian Zeller returns to directing with his second film, The Sonthe second work of the Zeller trilogy, which will be presented in competition at the 79th Venice International Film Festival and subsequently brought to Italian cinemas by 01 Distribution

Plot and cast

The official plot: Two years after his parents’ divorce, 17-year-old Nicholas (Zen McGrath) can no longer live with his mother. The pain of living that he feels has become a constant presence and his only refuge are the memories of his happy moments when he was a child. The boy decides to move in with his father Peter (Hugh Jackman), who has just had a child with his new partner. Peter tries to care for Nicholas thinking about how he would like his father to take care of him but in the meantime tries to juggle his new family and the prospect of an attractive political career in Washington. However, as he tries to make up for the mistakes of the past, he loses sight of Nicholas’ present. “The Son” is a tale destined to resonate deeply in anyone who has had to fight for their family. What is the line between what is best for us and the responsibilities we have towards others and towards our children?

The cast of “The Son” also includes Anthony Hopkins, Vanessa Kirby, Laura Dern, Hugh Quarshie, William Hope, Julia Westcott-Hutton, Akie Kotabe, Reza Diako, Rene Costa, Isaura Barbé-Brown, Erick Hayden, Danielle Lewis, Nancy Baldwin, Rachel Handshaw, Van Pierre, Mercedes Bahleda, Robina Hula and Darrenjclarke.

The Son – curiosity

  • French director Florian Zeller (The Father, All Mad in My House, Florida, A Middle Aged Night’s Dream) directs “The Son” from a script he wrote with Christopher Hampton based on Zeller’s play “Les Fils”. Hampton won an Academy Award with Zeller for “The Father” and a second solo statuette for Dangerous Liaisons (1988). The team that supported director Florian Zeller behind the scenes included director of photography Ben Smithard (The Father, Downton Abbey), production designer Simon (A Royal Weekend, The Girl in the Painting) and costume designer Lisa Duncan (Frankie & Emma , Adrift in Soho).
  • The cast of “The Son” includes two Oscar winners: Laura Dern, Anthony Hopkins, and two Oscar nominees: Hugh Jackman and Vanessa Kirby.
  • The original music of “The Son” is by the German composer Hans Zimmer (American Elegy, The Right to Count, 12 Years a Slave). Zimmer in his career has won four Grammy Awards, two Oscars for Best Score out of twelve nominations (The Lion King, Dune) and two Golden Globes out of nine nominations (The Lion King, The Gladiator).

Who is Florian Zeller?

Florian Zeller is an award-winning French novelist, playwright and director. According to The Times he is “the most exciting playwright of our day”. He has written more than ten plays, including The Father, The Mother, The Truth, The Lie, Upside Down and, most recently, Le fils, which premiered in London in 2019. His plays are go on stage in over 45 countries. The father is one of the most
great successes in recent years and has been described by The Guardian newspaper as “the most acclaimed new comedy of the last decade” and has won numerous awards in Paris, London and New York. The film “The Father – Nothing Is As It Seems” was his first film direction, “The Son” is his second test behind the camera.

The Father – Nothing is as it seems

“The Father – Nothing Is As It Seems” starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman was awarded the 2021 Oscars for his performance as Hopkins for Best Leading Actor and for Best Non-Original Screenplay by Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton.

The official plot: Anthony is 81 years old. He lives alone in his London flat and rejects all the people his daughter Anne tries to impose on him. Soon, however, Anne will no longer be able to visit him every day: she has made the decision to move to Paris with a man she has just met … But if so, then who is the stranger who suddenly falls into the living room of the house? Anthony, claiming to have been married to Anne for over ten years? And why does he say with such conviction that the one where he lives is his and his daughter’s home? Yet Anthony is sure this is his apartment. There seems to be something strange in the air, as if the world suddenly stopped following its usual rules. Lost in a maze of unanswered questions, Anthony desperately tries to understand what is going on around him. The father – Nothing is as it seems is the story of a man whose reality slowly crumbles before our eyes.

“The Father” is based on the play Il padre (Le père) written by Florian Zeller and premiered in Paris in 2012, winning the Molière Award for Best Comedy, before debuting on Broadway and in the West London End, where he won Tony and Olivier awards for Best Actor (to Frank Langella and Kenneth Cranham respectively). Zeller directs the film adaptation – his debut in a feature film – shot in London from a screenplay he co-wrote with Christopher Hampton (Atonement, Dangerous Liaisons). Alongside Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman, the cast of the film is completed by Mark Gatiss (The Favorite, the Sherlock television series), Imogen Poots (Green Room, Let’s not get down), Rufus Sewell (Judy, the television series The Man in the high castle) and Olivia Williams (Victoria and Abdul, An education).

“When I started working on the adaptation of my play, the face I kept mentally visualizing was always that of Anthony Hopkins,” recalls Zeller. “I had a deep conviction that he would be very effective and shocking in this role. It was at the origin of my desire to make this film and the only reason I decided to shoot in English: it was a way to get to him. In that sense, he was part of my dream. That’s why the protagonist’s name is Anthony ”. The relationship between Christopher Hampton and Anthony Hopkins dates back more than forty years ago, to the early 1970s and to the film LOVE AND ANGER. Zeller and Hampton travel to Los Angeles to talk with Hopkins about the role of Anthony. “We approached him and he agreed to play him almost immediately,” Hampton recalls, “but then we had to wait patiently for him to be available to shoot!” A good relationship is created immediately between Hopkins and Zeller. “I knew Christopher Hampton because I had worked with him several times in the past. I knew it was going to be a relatively small cast and crew. Everything was very compact: I almost had the feeling of working on an artisanal production. I was happy to learn from Florian that the script for The Father – Nothing Is As It Seems was written with me in mind. If so, I feel very flattered and honored. ” “Working on this film,” he continues, “made me focus on my own mortality. In a way, I almost tend to think that maybe I will avoid suffering from dementia because I impersonated a sick person! We had a lot of fun on set trying to memorize Florian’s conversational style of dialogue. In some ways, when the cameras lit up on me, I no longer needed to act! ”. “I am eighty-two years old and I managed to get over the age my father was when he died. I think I understood Anthony from the beginning: in some ways it was like playing my father. ” When asked about his age and a possible retirement from the stage, Hopkins’ reaction is typically strong: “I would die if I stopped working. I think I’m an old warrior! A survivor! ”.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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