Billy Porter and Luke Evans deliver landmark performances in “Our Son.” [Tribeca Film Festival]

In 2019, everyone was going mad for Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, and after watching it, I was utterly dumbfounded. I mean, the movie is a whole lot of fine and doesn’t really say anything new.  Sure, both Adam Driver and Scarlett Johannsson were incredible, but the story at its core is something anywhere between 60-100% of people have first- or second-hand experience with — a heterosexual divorce. Why was this being championed as this brilliant film for telling a story so overdone and so exhaustingly dull that without career defining performances would otherwise go rather unnoticed and forgotten. This leads me to talking about Bill Oliver’s second full-length feature, Our Son, which is about a gay couple divorcing and fighting for custody of their son, with some jaw-dropping moments that show how absolutely nasty and brutal divorce can be.

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L-R: Billy Porter as Gabriel and Luke Evans as Nicky in OUR SON.

Our Son focuses on Gabriel (Billy Porter), a struggling artist, and his partner Nicky (Luke Evans), who’s so driven by his career he is almost blinded to everything else around him. They’re raising their son, Owen (Christopher Woodley), together, but things reach a boiling point between Gabriel and Nicky. There have been talks between the two men about possibly exploring the idea of an open marriage, but when Gabriel decides to move forward on that decision alone, tensions flare up and a marital spat breaks out. After that tense argument, Gabriel files for divorce, completely blindsiding Nicky. The brutal, intense, and nasty divorce starts to unfold, showing how ugly and unrelenting people can be when their backs are put up against the wall and how low they can truly sink to try and hurt the people who hurt them.


L-R: Christopher Woodley as Owen and Luke Evans as Nicky in OUR SON.

There is something so impactful about Our Son that not only highlights how spending years with someone can change a person, how having a child can change a dynamic, or not having an open dialogue throughout a relationship can lead to a boiling point that is going to change the landscape of the relationship for the future. There are such things as amicable divorces, but they don’t happen as often and they usually do not involve children as custody is another messy beast within itself. This is such a rare and touching story, boasted by two incredibly grounded and heartbreaking performances that take Our Son to the next level, letting it shine and show that even something as strong as love won’t prevent people from being heinous if they’re thrown against the wall.


L-R: Billy Porter as Gabriel, Christopher Woodley as Owen, and Luke Evans as Nicky in OUR SON.

What makes a film like Our Son work is the performances, and solely the performances. They propel a film from standard fare to something that is going linger and sit with the audience for years to come. Automatically, because the story takes a drawn-out story that has been overdone every way conceivable already, changes it, and makes it about a non-heterosexual couple and involves a minor, is already something new and engaging for audiences to take in. However, it is the performances from both Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast) and Billy Porter (80 for Brady), showing just how hurtful people can truly be to one another, that propel this story from tearjerker to a sob fest that will leave your jaw on the floor. Luke Evans is arguably the best he has ever been in his career with his performance, and Billy Porter continues to prove how incredible he can be, bringing a tour de force with him. With these two powerhouses having to fight each other essentially, the results are simply explosive, and their chemistry-turned-near-hatred for one another is purely atomic. Aside from these two delivering powerhouse performances, the cast is rounded out with Phylicia Rashad (Creed), Andrew Rannells (The Prom), and Cassandra Freeman (Inside Man). Everyone brings 110% to the table and truly makes Our Son one of the most heartbreaking and touching movies to come out this year.

Screening during Tribeca Film Festival 2023.

For more information, head to the official Tribeca Film Festival Our Son webpage.

Final Score: 4 out of 5.

Tribeca 2023

Categories: In Theaters, Reviews

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1 reply

  1. Amazing, AMAZING film. A must see!

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