7.5/10
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106 user 319 critic

Son of Saul (2015)

Saul fia (original title)
R | | Drama, War | 11 June 2015 (Hungary)
Trailer
1:45 | Trailer

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In the horror of 1944 Auschwitz, a prisoner forced to burn the corpses of his own people finds moral survival upon trying to salvage from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son.

Director:

(as Nemes László)

Writers:

(as Nemes László),
Reviews
Popularity
4,946 ( 196)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Abraham Warszawski
...
Oberkapo Biederman
...
Bearded Prisoner
Jerzy Walczak ...
Rabbi Frankel
Gergö Farkas ...
Saul's Son
Balázs Farkas ...
Saul's Son
Sándor Zsótér ...
...
Feigenbaum
Levente Orbán ...
Russian Prisoner
Kamil Dobrowolski ...
Mietek
...
Oberscharführer Voss
...
Oberscharführer Busch
Attila Fritz ...
Yankl (Young Prisoner)
...
Schlojme
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Storyline

Two days in the life of Saul Auslander, Hungarian prisoner working as a member of the Sonderkommando at one of the Auschwitz Crematoriums who, to bury the corpse of a boy he takes for his son, tries to carry out his impossible deed: salvage the body and find a rabbi to bury it. While the Sonderkommando is to be liquidated at any moment, Saul turns away of the living and their plans of rebellion to save the remains of a son he never took care of when he was still alive. Written by LaoKoon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

11 June 2015 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

El hijo de Saúl  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

HUF 280,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$37,930 (USA) (18 December 2015)

Gross:

$1,776,814 (USA) (13 May 2016)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director László Nemes called Nobel prize-winning Hungarian writer and concentration camp survivor Imre Kertész an inspiration to make this film. See more »

Quotes

Saul Ausländer: Rabbi, Help me bury a body.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 73rd Golden Globe Awards (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Dream Faces
Written by William Marshall Hutchison
Performed by Elizabeth Spencer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Overly Self-Conscious and Void - Like a Child Trying Too Hard at Show-and-Tell
13 May 2016 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

'Son of Saul' started off with a refreshing burst, but barely a quarter in, it meanders on its own overly self-conscious showiness. It becomes painfully obvious that there's a director and production crew behind it trying too hard to drive the impact and be different, resulting in a showy look-at-me stilted performances from its actors and even the set screams "wow aren't we just realistic and meticulous in our details", like a bratty girl twirling her hula-hoop in a vigorously attention seeking manner.

The core motivation of Saul in trying to get 'a random son' buried is …… nada. The entire essence of this movie pivots on this core 'motivation'. Without it, there is only the mundane uninteresting idiosyncrasy of Saul - drifting in the sea of all the other equally mundane idiosyncrasies, all of which are equally uninteresting.

The actors (both the clothed and the naked) are way too healthy and lackadaisically bland in their appearances and attitudes, lacking any anguished sense of desperation and despair. As you watch them and the overly-crafted sets, you can't help but be 'constantly aware' that you are watching actors and extras and movie sets going about their motions as directed.

Even the constant background chattering sounds consciously deliberate and staged. And the Nazi officers - another bunch of one-dimensional caricatured bullies … same cartoonish-cardboard ones you find in WWII comedies, action genres, dramas, you name it.

Hence, even after over an hour into the movie, there is no immersion of oneself into the proceedings of the plot nor in the characters.

The most realistic actors on set are the ones playing the dead bodies, but even then their positioning and the manner in which they are piled and dragged around …. overly choreographed.

Why did it win the Oscar Best Foreign award? Absolutely no idea - just another no-sense award from Hollywood. Probably it gives the voters a misplaced sense of politically-correct 'artsiness'.

'Son of Saul' has become an obligatory-must-watch-because-its-won-these-bunch-of-awards. A good compelling movie it is NOT. Vain-glorious, and does not impress beyond its first 5 mins of fame.


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