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The Hugh Jackman Drama Flop Defying Odds And Killing It On Netflix

Austin Butler was a heavy favorite to win best actor at the 2023 Academy Awards. Part of that acclaim came from his big win at that year's Golden Globes, where he won Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama for his work in "Elvis" against the likes of Brendan Fraser in "The Whale" and Hugh Jackman in "The Son." You'd be forgiven for not having heard of "The Son" before. It was a small picture that came out in 2022, and it only grossed $3.5 million worldwide (only $450,000 came from the States).

Jackman's nomination was all the more impressive, seeing how the film didn't really resonate with critics. It only has a 29% positive rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but even if reviewers didn't like the movie as a whole, Jackman's performance was clearly a highlight. His involvement undoubtedly got Netflix subscribers tuning in, as "The Son" broke into the platform's Top 10 Movies. Now, general audiences can decide for themselves whether "The Son" has the goods.

Despite an all-star cast, The Son fizzled out

Director Florian Zeller's previous work, "The Father," was received much more favorably in 2020. It even earned Anthony Hopkins an Academy Award for best actor. However, "The Son" didn't receive nearly as much recognition, and there's no word yet if Zeller will top things off with a movie called "The Holy Ghost." Hopkins also appears in "The Son" along with Laura Dern and Vanessa Kirby. 

The film follows a father (Jackman) trying to connect with his son (Zen McGrath) after divorcing his mother (Dern) and having a baby with another woman (Kirby). The consensus from critics seems to be that while the performances are excellent, the film gets too caught up in melodrama for its own good. In one of the more positive reviews the movie received, Wendy Ide of The Guardian wrote, "Zeller explores how sadness repels; how people involuntarily recoil from depression, perpetuating the isolation of the sufferer." It may be a tough watch, but it's no doubt rewarding viewing for those who check it out. 

The Wolverine actor stated previously that he thought "The Son" was the most intense movie he's ever filmed. Fans can decide by watching the film, which is now on Netflix.