‘The Son’ Gets 10-Minute Ovation At Venice Film Festival World Premiere – Deadline


Florian Zeller’s family drama The Son had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday evening, eliciting a 10-minute standing ovation after the film’s screening.

Stars Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby and Zen McGrath were in attendance with Zeller inside the Sala Grande. They took several bows as the crowd cheered the cast’s emotional performances.

The film is Zeller’s follow-up to his 2020 Oscar-winning The Father. As with that film, The Son is adapted from Zeller’s own stage play alongside Christopher Hampton.

The story follows a family as it struggles to reunite after falling apart. The film centers on Peter (Jackman), whose hectic life with his infant and new partner Emma (Kirby) is upended when his ex-wife Kate (Dern) appears with their son Nicholas (Zen McGrath), who is now a teenager. The young man has been missing from school for months and is troubled, distant, and angry. Peter strives to take care of Nicholas as he would have liked his own father to have taken care of him. While juggling work, his and Beth’s new baby, and the offer of his dream position in Washington, he loses sight of how to hold onto Nicholas in the present.

Venice Film Festival 2022 Photos

In his review, Deadline’s Pete Hammond wrote that The Son is “a strong character-driven piece that … has the feeling of an intimate family drama without obvious flashy technique that would sink it.”

Earlier today, Jackman said his role has had an impact on how he behaves with his own kids. “For many, many years as a parent the job was to appear strong and dependable and never worried — I don’t want to burden my children, but certainly since this movie I’ve changed my approach. I share my vulnerabilities more with my 17- and 22-year-old and I see their relief when I do.”

Zeller commented that with parenting and mental health issues there is “so much shame and guilt. To make a film about it was to open that conversation.”

Sony Pictures Classics will release The Son on November 11 in New York and Los Angeles before expanding domestically and in select international markets.


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