Movie Reviews

bellview--i love movies

Home | Movie Reviews | Video Roundups | Essays | Game Reviews | Subscribe | Mailbag | About | Search

Movie Awards
2004 Roundup
2005 Roundup
2006 Roundup
2007 Roundup
2008 Roundup
2009 Roundup


"Son Frère" (His Brother)

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


Comments?  Drop me a line at


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 "Office Space"). 

"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, 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 half stars." 

"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 Vice"-rated movies.)

Home | Movie Reviews | Video Roundups | Essays | Game Reviews | Subscribe | Mailbag | About | Search

The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09