My son *
by Christian Carion
Franco-British film, 1 h 31
The films seen are sometimes clearly different from the films that we would have liked to see. At first sight, My son has everything to please. In the haunting, gloomy atmosphere of autumnal Scotland, Ed arrives in the Highlands to travel to the scene where his 7-year-old son Ethan has gone missing. There he finds Joan, his ex-wife, devastated by the anguish and the feeling of guilt for having imposed on Ethan this summer camp that he did not want. She lives with a new companion, Hunter, who brings her what Ed, always overly busy with a job that takes him to the four corners of the world, has failed to offer: presence and stability.
The police are looking for items Ethan could have left in the bungalow he shared with another child, near a lake. When a beat is organized, his parents participate actively to find him. In vain. Was he injured or drowned while moving away from the camp? Has he run away? Has he been kidnapped? The police investigate Ed’s professional environment, while he himself suspects Joan’s companion, perhaps more ambiguous than his cordial exterior suggests.
Sumptuous landscapes of the Highlands
Scottish nature, filmed by a loving camera, captivates with its lakes that reflect the sky, its red-hued forests and its mists that cling to the reliefs. James McAvoy brings to Ed all the subtle ambivalence of a father ravaged by worry in whom the guilt of having left his son’s existence grows, but also of a man whose violence can arise at any time. . It is when the chief of police announces to him that he has left the investigation and that Ed decides to carry it out alone that My son derails to become a revenge film bordering on grotesque where the absent dad will redeem his fault by playing muscles and weapons to kill all the bad guys who kidnapped his son.
→ READ. “In May, do what you want”, in the heat of May 1940
Rarely, the director Christian Carion himself signs with My son the Anglo-Saxon remake of his film My boy (2017) with an identical frame, shot in the Alps. He also takes up the original idea, which was to keep the story from the main actor, Guillaume Canet then James McAvoy, to get spontaneous emotions. If the filmmaker intends to continue these experiences – the interest of which is not obvious -, let’s hope that it will be in the future with a more solid framework.