Sometimes child emotional abuse continues well into adulthood. You Will Be My Son, a French film directed by Gilles Legrand, explores a parent-child relationship in which the earnest adult son of a renown and highly successful vintner in Saint-Emilion just can’t please Daddy and winds up at the receiving end of constant verbal belittlement.
Paul de Marseul (Niels Arestup), the father, has been running an exceptional operation through the expertise of his estate manager and viticulturist François (Patrick Chesnais), who has just received a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Paul’s son Martin (Lorant Deutsch), who knows the business but lacks charisma, springs into action, convinced that his commitment during this difficult time will secure his father’s offer of partnership.
Unfortunately, the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree with respect to François’s son Philippe (Nicolas Bridet). Philippe, a scintillating personality and wine expert in his own right, has just returned from an apprenticeship in the Napa Valley. Like a luscious bunch of grapes hanging from the vine, Philippe is the fruit that Paul wants to pluck to continue his wine dynasty.
Martin’s attempts to override the terrible disregard and soul-killing comments of his father – who makes no attempt to conceal that Philippe is the son he wished he sired – is as heartbreaking as Paul’s behavior is appalling. The wild card in the proceedings becomes François who, as a dying father, sees Philippe as being metaphorically stolen from him.
Saturn may as well be its own character in You Will Be My Son, as its associated energies, both for the good and the bad, propel the key players. Paul is the CEO who’s admirably risen to the top, as well as the highly critical father. Martin suffers from self-criticism, emotional deprivation and low self-worth. Philippe is mesmerized by the respect and monetary opportunities – both Saturnine lures – that Paul offers. And, perhaps most critically, François sees that the rules of the game – Saturn is big on rules – are out of order and need to be reset.
Saturn likes boundaries. Your close associate’s son is, in other words, off limits.
Astrology Film Rating: ♄ (Saturn)