Directed by Patrice Chéreau.
Written by Patrice Chéreau and Anne-Louise Trividic.
Based on a novel by Phillippe Besson.
Starring Bruno Todeschini and Eric Caravaca.
Release Year: 2003
Review Date: 5/2/03
Famed French stage director Patrice Chéreau
(he’s the head of the voting committee for Cannes this year)
directed this dramatic piece and this is as far from a pick-me-up as
possible. Luckily, the film is very good, as evidenced by both its
award from the Berlin Film Festival and the fact that our audience
loved the film. “Son Frère” skips around as it tells the story of
two brothers, one that is dying of an unnamed disease that is
quickly killing his platelet count and his matching energy level;
one that is a homosexual city employee that was once distant from
his brother but comes to his aid when he learns of the tragic
diagnosis. The direction in the film is quite strong; the
performances by the two leads (Bruno Todeschini from “Va Savoir” and
Eric Caravaca) are impressive; the lack of a score and the use of
sound in general make for an interesting film experience. A
harrowing scene featuring two nurses that prep the dying brother for
surgery by giving him a full-body shave--shown in one continuous
take from armpit to chest to crotch to toe--really bring an intimate
sense to the sadness that is to follow. Slow start but “Son Frère”
is a very entertaining film.
Rating: $9.50 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard