This is a film from 2002 made in France and originally released as `Le Fils'. It tells the story of Olivier (Olivier Gourmet - great name that) who teaches carpentry at a centre for wayward youths, including young offenders. He has a bad back a failed marriage and a past that still haunts his present day.
Then he is asked to teach a young boy, Francis, who is straight out of the detention centre. He refuses at first, but after reading his file he changes his mind. He clearly has a keen interest in this boy and it is reciprocated by the youth. Then we find out why he is so interested and it becomes a complete game changer.
So is it any good? Well as ever that depends upon the viewer, this is not `art house' it is filmed in real time, no music, minimal lighting and real locations. They even use a steady hand cam for most of the filming. Because of the use of real locations, there is often a feeling approaching claustrophobic and lends itself to docudrama. This is fine as it adds to the realism but from a viewing perspective actually can detract from being engaging. However, this there is a web being spun and the more it is woven the more the intrigue builds. I found myself constantly trying to double guess how it would end and getting it mostly wrong, so that is a good thing.
The acting is all superb and the production is almost unnoticeable as that was what was being aimed for, so nothing to criticise on that front. This will not be for everyone, but has generally received very positive reviews indeed, I would recommend to viewers who are open to European cinema in all its varying shades as this does deal with some `dark' issues.