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The Son of Joseph2016

  • 4.6
The American-born expatriate filmmaker Eugène Green exists in his own special artistic orbit. His latest movie, THE SON OF JOSEPH, is perhaps his most buoyant. A nativity story reboot that gently skewers French cultural pretensions, it features newcomer Victor Ezenfis as a discontented Parisian teenager in search of a father with Mathieu Amalric and Fabrizio Rongione as his, respectively, callous and gentle alternative paternal options, and Natacha Régnier as his single mother.

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1 member likes this review

Some have criticized this as too Bresssonian, too Biblical. I do not consider these to be faults, but strengths. After I gave my mom a copy of Au Hasard, Balthazar, she reported to me "Too Christian!" I said, "Give the disc back to me then" and she replied "Oh, no! It's a great film." This is a noble film, conscious of and confident in its inspiration.

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Member Reviews (2)

127953.small
top reviewer

Some have criticized this as too Bresssonian, too Biblical. I do not consider these to be faults, but strengths. After I gave my mom a copy of Au Hasard, Balthazar, she reported to me "Too Christian!" I said, "Give the disc back to me then" and she replied "Oh, no! It's a great film." This is a noble film, conscious of and confident in its inspiration.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Life à la Bresson, but in color and with delicate, cheering humor—a movie like a fine white wine, slightly bubbly. An apparently fatherless boy discovers his absent parent and, after first rejecting the evil of torturing a rat à la Proust and then fleeing his own attempt at murder, creates a father in his missing parent's brother who befriends him and ultimately acknowledges his parenthood. The detail of inception is thus transcended despite the biological father's repeated rejection of details, even though his last name, Pormenor, means detail in Spanish. The humanly spiritual, indeed, the theological parallels remain explicitly evident, gracing "The Son of Joseph," never burdening it, just as the glorious polyphonic

and arioso vocals celebrate that grace. Green does not moralize, does not preach; he evidences, rather, a temporal triumph.