Monday 9 January 2023

Movie Review: My Son (2021)

Genre: Missing Child Mystery Thriller
Director: Christian Carion
Starring: James McAvoy, Claire Foy, Tom Cullen
Running Time: 95 minutes

Synopsis: Frequent business traveler Edmond Murray (James McAvoy) rushes back to rural Scotland, where his seven year old son Ethan has been abducted from a riverfront campsite. Edmond reconnects with his ex-wife Joan (Claire Foy), who is raising Ethan with her new husband Frank (Tom Cullen). Inspector Roy (Gary Lewis) is in charge of the investigation, and Edmond quickly suspects Frank is hiding something. When Roy is unexpectedly yanked off the case, it's left up to the divorced couple to unravel the mystery behind their son's disappearance.

What Works Well: The fog-shrouded Scottish Highlands locations carry a rustic beauty and amplify the missing child mystery. The opening act sets a compelling context of an absentee father returning home to deal with an unfolding crisis.

What Does Not Work As Well: McAvoy was apparently not provided a script and instead asked to improvise his lines. The resulting dissonance degrades an already ragged narrative where multiple opportunities are nurtured then carelessly scattered in the wind. Frank's erratic behaviour, the investigation taken over by "London", and Edmond's work backstory are all discarded in favour of a third act consumed by a too-dark spook show with undefined villains.

Conclusion: Chilly moodiness is undone by undisciplined plotting.

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