Our Son | Review by: Luke Elisio
For years we in the queer community have been begging for stories where being queer isn’t central to the plot, stories where we’re not overshadowed by cis/het characters and stories that don’t end in tragic death. Rarely do we see ourselves in movies that aren’t sweeping or sensational but rather everyday stories of family, friendship, heartbreak and starting over. Think about it: How often do you get to see a tender, introspective drama about a gay couple going through a divorce? Bill Oliver’s “Our Son” is the movie queer audiences have been waiting for. A beautiful, wonderful, gripping movie that is well worth the wait.
On paper the premise of “Our Son” (a married couple going through a divorce and battling over custody of their son) sounds fairly similar to “Marriage Story.” But whereas that movie is a much more explosive, melodramatic fantasy of what divorce is, “Our Son” feels more grounded. It’s grimly accurate in how it portrays the raw ugliness of divorce, at times visceral and no-holds-barred when it comes to the emotional turmoil the process puts everyone in the vicinity of the divorce through. This movie is a pensive, thought-provoking movie with a conflict at its core that will pull your heart and your head in every direction imaginable. “Our Son” is one of the rare movies with a conflict that will leave both your heart and your head reeling, unsure which one to use. It’s guaranteed to make you think and weigh the countless possibilities if you yourself were in the positions of these characters. It’s impossible to watch this movie and not feel extremely empathetic for either of the protagonists.
“Our Son” stars Billy Porter and Luke Evans as Gabriel and Nicky respectively, the couple going through the divorce. Porter’s amazing work as a dramatic actor is well-documented thanks to his time on FX’s “Pose” but Evans rarely gets the chance to flex his dramatic muscles. Thankfully, “Our Son” provides him with ample material to work with. Evans’ character goes through Hell and the anguish and sadness that weighs on him is palpable. Porter is reliably astounding but Evans is the one who steals the show. His performance is multilayered and the way he evolves from a man going though the motions of a mediocre life to one who finds genuine bliss is incredible to watch.
In both tone and style “Our Son” is an intimate movie. This is one of those impactful movies where the power lies in the masterful performances and thoughtful writing. That’s all “Our Son” requires to impress and boy oh boy does it impress. This is a small movie that is sure to fly under everyone’s radar this year but when it does comes out, you’ll be all the better for having seen it.
Review by: Luke Elisio