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'Our Son' review: Luke Evans and Billy Porter make gay divorce and custody fights old school

Does it count as representational progress when a drama about the rift that shatters a same-sex marriage and the ensuing battle for primary custody of the couple’s children is as underwhelming as any straight version of that sad story?

Bill Oliver’s Our Son has Luke Evans and

Steady lead performance Billy Porter as the struggling father, with a capable supporting cast of talented dramatic actors. The film is tasteful, restrained, and handled with sensitivity every step of the way. But unless you count one of the men who find post-breakup sexually distracting around a slender club kid named Solo (Isaac Powell), there’s too little here to set this film apart from the countless others that came before it. Broken family dramas apart. Our Son

Bottom line Serious enough to be wrong.

Venue : Tribeca Film Festival (Focus on Narrative) Cast : Luke Evans, Billy Porter, Christopher Woodley, Andrew Rannells , Robin Weigert, Kate Burton Phylicia Rashad, Isaac Powell, Michael Countrymandirector: Bill Oliver Screenwriter : Peter Nickowitz, Bill Oliver 1 hour44 minute

vs. Kramer vs. Kramer, Standouts like The Squid and the Whale or Marriage Story. Without a more psychologically insightful script and a more unpredictable story development, Our Son shows that a gay couple’s problems could be as uninteresting as any other couple’s problems. Welcome to the tedium of married equality!

Stay-at-home dad Gabriel (Potter) and successful publisher Nicky (Evans) are married , the last eight of them are raising their son Owen (Christopher Woodley). Nicky blames Gabriel for overdoting on Owen, and Gabriel scolds Nicky for being too busy with work to devote enough energy to the boy’s life. When Gabriel revealed he was having an affair, Nicky accepted the news, and while the affair ended quickly, Gabriel’s dissatisfaction with the marriage did not.

Nicky promises to be a better husband and father, but Gabriel has already seen a divorce lawyer and started proceedings, so he is forced to hire his own lawyer, by Robin Wiig Robin Weigert is played with warmth and empathy. The hostility escalates and the knife is out, or at least as close to it as Peter Nickowitz and director Oliver’s bland script allows.

The film’s conflict over who will be the primary parent is due in part to Nicky’s anger at her husband for abandoning a marriage he believes is worth saving. Gabriel sanctimoniously insists that he’s the better parent and that his love and care provided Owen with a family, while the boys’ biological father Nicky counters that he’s too busy making money to give them a home. Or as their friend Matthew (Andrew Rannells) puts it, “When Owen was born, Gabe fell in love with him and you fell by the wayside.”

A weak point of the script It’s our fault that we never really get to know either of the spouses, which means they define it almost entirely by their marriage and the resulting depressed or angry emotions.

Nicky just signed a big writer, which will provide a major financial boost, but that’s about it for him. There’s no question that Gabriel is a dedicated parent, having given up acting for yoga, shopping, and PTA meetings. But as Nicky could have used more barbs in the film, giving up his acting career required having a career. Owen doesn’t have much room for drama, either, other than the boy’s staccato expressions of his displeasure and confusion about the troubles between Daddy and Daddy.

Too much written information, clichéd and obvious. Does anyone still buy movie kids and ask their parents to tell them their birth story all over again, solely for the benefit of the audience? Just because Nikki’s discussion about parenting and fatherhood with a bunch of the couple’s queer friends happens over Mimosa doesn’t make it any less didactic. The social context of negative factors such as divorce and custody disputes is part of the marriage equality field, but there is no fresh account of it.

Monotonous interactions between Gabriel and Nicky, both outside court, and scenes with their respective families provide them with momentary relief. Nicky gets some support from his sister Alex (Emily Donahoe), joking that their church members (Kate Burton and Michael Courtman) have to deal with having a gay son and a divorced daughter Disappointed, now with a fresh blow from a divorced gay son. Gabriel receives words of cautionary wisdom during a visit from his mother (Phylicia Rashad).

Once the focus is on Nicky, the movie produces some poignancy, first in a cute interlude with Owen at Coney Island, then alone as he makes A heartbreaking decision and finally making peace with it. In the less dramatic role of the two lead characters, Evans moves quietly in the epilogue scene. But Our Son – set to melancholic music by Joachim Trier composer Ola Fløttum – is too flat to have much emotional impact, and its characters are too cautious It’s balanced, and not offensive, so it’s entertaining. Mostly, it plays like a highbrow old TV movie, well-meaning but bland.

Full credits 1234560

Venue: Tribeca Film Festival (Focus on Narrative) Production Company: Tigresa, in association with Slated, Federal Films, TPC Cast: Luke Evans, Billy Potter, Christopher Woodley, Andrew Lang Niles, Robin Weigert, Kate Burton, Phylicia Rashad, Isaac Powell, Michael Courtman, David Pitto, Cassandra Freeman , Gabby Beans, Lisa Bennett, Nuara Cleary, Francis Jue, Bryan Terrell Clark, Alfredo Narciso, Emily Donahoe Director: Bill Oliver Screenwriters: Peter Nickowitz , Bill Oliver Producers: Fernando Loureiro, Eric Binns, Guilherme Coelho, Jennifer 8. Lee, Christopher Lin Executive Producers: Billy Porter, Bill Oliver, Peter Nickowitz, Monte Lipman, Dana Sa No, Nicole Jordan-Weber, John Wollman, Ross Boucher, Sekart Chakrabarti, Katie Leary, Merwin Schmukler, Jorge Ortiz , Jay Burnley, Carissa Knoll, Jonathan Gardner, Ali Jazayeri, David Gendron, Liz Destro, Robert Rippberger Director Photography: Luca Fantini Art Direction: Sophia Uehara
Costume Design: Aubrey Laufer Music: Ola Fløttum Editor: Zach Clark , Tyler JensenCasting: Scotty Anderson 1 hour 44 minutes

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