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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner

Our Son ***


Starring: Luke Evans, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells, Christopher Woodley  

Director: Bill Oliver

Country: USA

UK Distributor: Vertical

 

Nicky (Evans – Beauty And The Beast, The Hobbit franchise) and Gabriel (Porter – Pose, Cinderella) have been together for thirteen years. They have the perfect life, with Nicky in a high-income job while Gabriel is a stay-at-home Dad for their eight year-old son, Owen (Woodley). But all is not perfect behind closed doors, with Gabriel wanting more from their life together. Asking for a divorce, this supposed perfection is about to come crashing down around them, especially as they try to decide who should be awarded custody of their son.


Like a Kramer vs. Kramer for the twenty-first century, this is a kitchen sink drama about the politics of a modern family. The storyline is deliberately domestic, with the conflict coming from inside the home rather than outside it. But the stakes are high as the pair fight bitterly for their access to Owen. Both Evans and Porter give solid performances, showing wholesome but flawed gravitas as they fail at being the adults in the room. But you can’t help but wish to have seen a little of the sparkle that showed why either fell in love with each other in the first place, with the pair over-earnest and world-weary throughout. And you’d be forgiven for expecting a little of that pizzazz from Billy Porter too.


A film like this could have had a theatrical run, but it comes as no surprise why this has gone straight to an online release. The script is absolutely fine. The direction is effective. Its stars are completely competent in playing these roles. It looks, smells and feels like a sturdy piece of modern drama. But does Our Son contain any real dramatic potential? Well, only partially. Serious, sober and sensibly intense, this is an unfrivolous and restrained drama that doesn’t quite have the emotive gut-punch that you might expect for a film about a broken home.

 

UK Release: Out now on VOD, released by Vertical.

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