We see so much of Hugh Jackman as a superhero or a musical performer that we tend to forget what a fine dramatic actor he is.
In "The Son," he stars with Laura Dern as divorced parents whose teenaged son (Zen McGrath) suffers from depression. Jackman has a new young wife (Vanessa Kirby) and baby, and his older son feels abandoned.
Dern is desperate for answers and blames herself. How can a boy who she's loved all her life suddenly want to move out and live with dad? She must have done something wrong. Of course, that arrangement doesn't work either, and the son pulls farther away.
"The Son" is written and directed beautifully by Florian Zeller, who also did 2020's "The Father," with Anthony Hopkins as a stubborn dementia patient. Hopkins is featured as Jackman's dad here in one indelible scene. This is a raw, heartbreaking look at the breakdown of mental health in youth and the fiber of the family.
I wish it would have come out earlier last fall. There might have been more awards consideration. Regardless, I highly suggest it.
(Sony Pictures Classics. Rated PG-13. Running Time 2 hrs. 3 mins. In Theaters Only)
When you see "Missing," you might ask yourself: "Haven't I seen this before?" That's because it's by the same directors (Nick Johnson and Will Merrick) as 2018's "Searching" and uses the same storytelling devices.
Storm Reid from "Euphoria" plays a teen whose mom (Nia Long) goes on vacation in Colombia with her new boyfriend and disappears.
When police aren't helping enough, the teen taps into every single website and social media app you can think of to try to solve the mystery herself. In fact, almost every scene plays out through multiple screens (computer, phone, etc.)
There are a lot of twists and turns in the storyline that keeps the movie compelling, but I tired of the gimmick.
(Screen Gems. Rated PG-13. Running Time 1 hr. 51 mins. In Theaters Only)
More family drama with an award-winning British film.
"After Love" tells the story of a widow who'd converted to the Muslim faith for her husband. Just as the movie starts, her husband dies as she's preparing tea.
When she looks through his wallet, she discovers he'd been having a long-standing affair. So, she sets out to meet "the other woman" across the channel in France. The lead is played with remarkable effect by Melissa McCarthy look-alike, Joanna Scanlan.
I don't want to give away how she manages to learn as much as she does about the mistress, but it's a real eye-opener.
There's an opening week "bo-go" ticket deal at Angelika Theaters in Dallas and Plano for this movie only.
(BFI. Not Rated. Running Time 1 hr. 29 mins. In Theaters Only)
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